It's crazy to think that Shovel Knight has been around for six years now. I played the original game way back then and loved it. I then picked up the Plague Knight expansion when that dropped... and it didn't really do it for me. I'm blanking on what the next expansion was, but I never played it.
But I'd still consider myself a fan of Shovel Knight, the character. Oddly, he was the very first amiibo I ever bought. This was before I even owned a Wii U. I just thought that it was an awesome looking amiibo. And I've loved the fact that he's become a sort of indie game mascot, often making cameo appearances in other games. At this point, I can't even keep up with all the games that Shovel Knight has appeared in. But I mean, you know he's made the big time when he showed up in Smash Ultimate.
Anyway, I'm a pretty big fan of the Wii U, so I tend to pick up games there when I have the option. As a plus, Wii U versions of games tend to be pretty dirt cheap. I think I've resigned the idea of collecting a complete Wii U set, but who knows. It's a smallish library.
I did however finally pick up Treasure Trove on Wii U, and I was thrilled to see that even though the system is "dead," it's still getting the added DLC released as recently as this past December. So I decided to spend some time playing the King Of Cards expansion.
The reviews for King Of Cards have been great. Nintendo Force gave it a perfect 10 score in their most recent issue. That's high praise, of course.
It's an interesting expansion so far. King Knight's move set is not especially easy to master. At least not at first. I'm still kind of wrapping my brain around his attacks and movements. And I admit, there's been some areas of levels that take me MANY attempts to successfully traverse.
But the really interesting thing about King Of Cards is the cards part of it. So while the base game is still platforming and boss battles and all that, there's also card houses to battle at, and decks to build and cards to collect. It's like a mash-up of a platformer and Pokemon TCG.
Of course we've seen these sorts of card games mixed into other games before. Be it Gwent inside Witcher 3 or that other card game from Final Fantasy IX or many other examples. But I can't think of a platformer that did this.
The card game here is... fine. It's pretty basic. I was expecting a sort of Hearthstone kind of thing. But really, it's more of a sliding puzzle game than a true card game. Just you're using cards to slide around. It's not bad by any means. Though it feels a bit basic. That said, I still find it fun enough.
Okay, so I've decided fairly quickly that I don't like the King Of Cards expansion AT ALL. It genuinely feels like a chore to me to attempt playing. Part of it may have been expectations, and that's on me. I THOUGHT I was getting a card game set in the Shovelknight universe. Not really. Instead it's a platformer that I hate (I really don't like playing as King Knight) that has some card game elements shoehorned in. And I don't find the card game all that compelling. So in short - I'm all set with this one.