Shovel Knight is released on 3DS, Wii U & PC featuring Manami Matsumae

Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. It is developed by Yacht Club Games, an independent game developer formed by a crew of former WayForward employees. They are a fun-loving bunch of gaming geniuses, and our composer Manami Matsumae worked with their composer Jake Kaufman on a couple of tracks for the main levels of the game. Creative Director Mohammed Taher comments on the music:

In a lot of ways Jake Kaufman followed the same philosophy with Shovel Knight’s music as the game’s designers and pixel artists. It’s a modern take on the 8-bit aesthetic, using an expanded tool set and adapting a wide range of timeless ideas in a modern context. The incredibly dense level design, the diversity of obstacles, enemies and characters, the remarkable attention to detail and a mechanical variety that never loses focus of its core aspects, all of these things are reflected in the music as well. The authentic NES chiptune sound, extended here by three extra channels (only possible on the Famicom through an extra sound chip called VRC6) is dense, layered and harmonically complex without ever losing sight of what made us fall in love with these types of chip tunes in the first place: catchy, uplifting melodies, often heroic, sometimes dramatic, always exhilarating. There’s a beautifully intricate kind of quality to the music that is unlike even the most refined soundtracks from the 8-bit era. The use of leitmotifs — compare the boss themes to their respective level themes — is unusual as well, and flawlessly executed. It may just be Kaufman’s best work to date. Our own Manami Matsumae (of Mega Man fame) lent her talent to the soundtrack with two beautiful tracks that are immediately reminiscent of her work for Capcom during the 8-bit era.

Shovel Knight is available right now on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, in addition to the PC version available to purchase on Steam, GOG, or directly from the website. The soundtrack will be up for purchase soon from Jake Kaufman's website.