UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 27, 2024

n00b News: Holiday nostalgia found in 8-bit games

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Christmas lights, old movies and chocolate oranges: What do these all have in common?

When the holidays draw near, I find myself gravitating to the things that evoke feelings of nostalgia. Among the more traditional things, one close to my heart is picking up the video games I played as a youngster. From ages 7 to 23, the holiday break presented the perfect chance to curl up in a blanket and binge on my favorite titles.

After saying goodbye to my Playstation 2 and GameBoy Color when I moved away for college, I’ve always felt the holiday gaming experience was missing something, at least until I found “Shovel Knight.”

“Shovel Knight” is a 2-D, side-scrolling platform game developed and released in 2014 by independent game developer Yacht Club Games. The title began as a Kickstarter project, which raised $311,502 from 14,749 backers according to its fundraising page. The game won the Game Awards 2014 “Best Independent Game,” and for good reason.

The game offers a fresh story and characters, only with the quintessential 8-bit music and graphics. Shovel Knight, the protagonist in the game, does not wield a sword or shield. As you may have guessed, he doles out sweet justice with the edge of his trusty shovel.

With map navigation, obstacles and non-playable characters reminiscent of “Super Mario Brothers,” this game is sure to give you a fun, new experience, while supplying the fix for your retro game craving.

Although I hope to finish the game during Winter break, “Shovel Knight” has already been added to my list of classics, and that takes something very special. I intend to continue playing the games I enjoyed as a child, but this game is also reminding me to stop yearning for the past and to focus on the present. This title is proof the game industry is alive and well, and companies like Yacht Club will continue to release games that don’t disappoint.

As Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”