According to Yacht Club Games designer Sean Velasco in a recent interview, Shovel Knight: King of Cards will have some map design and world exploration reminiscent of that of Super Mario World. Specifically, some game levels will have secret exits that lead to hidden extra levels when found. The game can be completed without ever seeing many of these levels. Velasco describes it like this:
It takes longer to complete than any other Shovel Knight. There are secret exits like Super Mario World in a lot of the stages. King Knight jumps on like a golden ring that is propelled by rats and flies away to the next stage. If you find the red ring then you go to a bonus area and there are secret paths everywhere. In King Knight, you don’t have to finish. You can probably finish the game and only beat 55% of the stages. So it’s kind of like Mario World in that respect, where you could take a straight shot and miss a lot of the content but still see the end. That also means that there are weird offshoot levels just like in Mario World. It’s like, “What is this weird new gameplay that I only saw for one level and then it’s gone?”
Velasco goes on to say that there is some Wario influence in King of Cards as well, since King Knight’s primary attack is a shoulder bash and he’s obsessed with riches. It’s never been a secret that Shovel Knight draws inspiration from a lot of classics, so tidbits like this are always fun to hear.
Shovel Knight: King of Cards has no release date since its delay. But when it launches for Switch (and 3DS, Wii U, and a hundred other platforms), it will include a card battling game against characters across its game world. This DLC will come free to anyone who has already bought Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. Treasure Trove already includes the stellar Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment DLC campaigns, so this collection is genuinely one of the best deals in all of gaming.
Let us know if you’re excited for some Super Mario World flavor in your King of Cards! And in related news, it recently came out that Shovel Knight has technically been a 3D game all along.