Shovel Knight Showdown
"Duel with up to 4 players locally and scramble after gems, or take control of your favorite character and dig into Story Mode! Master every move, explore a vast array of items and locales, and discover new revelations in this platform fighting game. Note: Not available on 3DS or Vita versions."
Shovel Knight Showdown is one of those game modes that didn't seem like something I was going to like until I finally sat down to play it. Frankly I'm not a huge fan of the team battle games such as Smash Brothers so when this game mode was announced I wasn't too excited. That said, Showdown isn't _JUST_ a battle brawler it also adds mechanics to each stage such that to win, you don't need to be the most skilled person at PVP. When I sit down to play Smash Brothers or Street Fighter casually I get wrecked every time because the skill divide between playing a lot and playing a little is huge. Shovel Knight Showdown fixes this by making levels have goals that don't involve fighting. Fighting might help you on the way to a goal but it's possible you could win by avoiding fighting and simply completing the brawl stage objective such as being the first person to collect the required gems.
Pair Shovel Knight Showdown with your Switch or PS4 and a couple friends and this mode seems like an essential part of the Treasure Trove.
King of Cards
"Step into the gilded boots of King Knight in the biggest and most regal Shovel Knight game of them all! Leap, Shoulder Bash, gather new subjects, and strategize your way through this prequel in your quest to become King of Cards!"
Once you get used to how King Knight plays the new campaign and levels of King of Cards are a joy. It took me a few tries to fully understand how to use King Knights jump and Yacht Club's level design does help that learning process quite a bit. That said, passing over some jumps seemed entirely impossible until I had that "ah ha" moment where I figured out to pass over the first level bubbles I had to come at the jump in a certain way to trigger King Knights spin to bounce off the bubble to the other side. I'm not too far in the King Knight campaign to comment on all of it yet but so far it seems like a very worthy addition to Treasure Trove and if you are a Shovel Knight fan entirely essential.
One awesome thing that came from Shovel Knight is the speedrun community and it's been a treat to watch the various speedruns especially at Games Done Quick 2017 and 2019. I hope one of the expansion games is run at GDQ and because of the fun acrobatic gameplay i'd pick King of Cards if I could flag a run i'd love to see in a future event. (Here's hoping for SGDQ 2020!)
Jake Kaufmans Score Is Superb
The original pixel-tune score for Shovel Knight by Jake Kaufman i'd already consider a classic score worthy of some of the best chiptunes i've heard. With each new expansion Jake released an entirely new OST and King of Cards and Showdown were no exception. I think Jake wanted to close the Shovel Trove strong because the King of Cards & Showdown OST runtime clocks in at an hour and a half and contains 50 tracks! I'm including a link to Bandcamp below where you can listen to the whole score and also download it by way of naming the price you feel reflects the albums value to you. I've personally downloaded all Jake's tunes from all the Shovel games and really enjoy it when his songs pop up in my video game playlists.
The Best Time To Play Shovel Knight is Now
If you haven't played Shovel Knight the best time to jump in to the Treasure Trove is now as the game is finally complete and contains five total games! If you are interested in having a physical copy Yacht Club has released new versions of Treasure Trove with all the expansions including King of Cards and Showdown on Switch and XBox One as well as digitally on nearly everything else including your toaster*.
I want to send a super special thank you for Yacht Club games for providing me a shiny new Switch key to play Treasure Trove with. They've been a really cool video game company to reach out to over the years in doing an interview back in the day and providing us with more than our fair share of review keys and also making Shovel Knight, a game I know many people on Cheerful Ghost love. It's also fun to see Yacht Club finally close the first chapter of Shovel Knight so strongly. The original Kickstarter lit the indie scene on fire and to wrap things up with two killer expansions is admirable.
* - not really your toaster unless you use your PS4's CPU to toast bread.