A new game from Yacht Club Games and Vine is out now. Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon is the first of the two new Shovel Knight spin-off games to be released. While the game shares plenty of characters, designs, and music with the original game Shovel Knight has stepped out of the platforming genre and into a strange space between Roguelite and Puzzle Game. In this Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Tips and Tricks guide, we'll go over the different game modes, tips on how to play the game, and what settings are best for your playstyle.
What Game Modes are in Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon?
When you start the game you'll have access to the following game modes
- Adventure Mode - Here is where the main story of Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon takes place
- Vs Mode - This competitive mode can be played against the computer or another human. Create chains and out-perform your opponent to defeat them in battle
- Daily Mode - Be granted a different character and loadout and survive for as long as you can. After completing the daily run you'll earn a spot on the high-score table
For completing the True Ending of Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon you'll gain access to an Endless Mode accessible through Adventure mode. In Endless Mode, the difficulty will continue to scale up after each sequential run only resetting back to its default when you lose. This is the ultimate challenge so be prepared for a challenge!
How to play Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon?
In each level, you'll be dropped into an 8x8 Grid. You can move around as a Knight, colliding with enemies, objects, and items to interact with them. If it's an enemy your Knight will attack, but also be attacked. It's a constant balancing act of dealing enough damage to defeat all of the on-screen enemies while also navigating to health potions to ensure that you don't die. As the level progresses more objects will drop from the top of the screen with a Tetris-like gravity to them. Everything will move one square each time your Knight moves, but time still moves slowly even when you're not so make sure you keep pace.
Tips for success
- When multiple of the same creature or object are touching on the board damaging one will damage everything for Chain Damage. Your Knight still only takes damage as if they were getting attacked once though. Avoid a certain enemy type at the start of each level to specifically work towards a large chain of it and then take them all down at once.
- Better chains will result in you generating more valuable gems which is important when buying Relics and Items later
- Potions heal 2 HP each time you consume one, but they also chain for compounding health gains. There is a Relic that can stop Potions from chaining so you don't waste too many in a chain
- The Doorway opening signals the end of the level, but if you manage to defeat all the remaining enemies on the screen before heading through the door you'll be rewarded with a further 500 gems. In the early game, this is no laughing matter!
- The meter at the bottom of your screen is the Gem Meter. As it ranks up you'll begin to get Gem Multipliers, it will always be slowly decreasing though. As you get better at looking for patterns in the game and play faster you'll find yourself being rewarded further by this Gem Multiplier.
- The maximum Gem Multiplier you can achieve is x4
- The maximum Gem Multiplier you can achieve is x4
- When you and your opponent clash you deal damage to them first, and then they deal damage to you. This is important in situations where the enemy is one hit away from defeat. If an enemy wouldn't survive your attack then they don't get a chance to attack you. This can be important when you have low health and want to know if you can hit an enemy without dying.
- Attack items of the same type, such as the Ice Hammer or Fire Sword, have limited uses but if you have one and you pick up a second of the same time their remaining uses will stack on top of one another.
Portal events to look for
Every now and then when destroying blocks in the world they'll reveal portals underneath them. These portals can lead to a number of different events, all of which will reward the player in one way or another whether you're able to clear them. Some will require combat, while others will give you stuff completely free of charge. The events you'll encounter are listed below:
- Clear the Room - You'll be dropped into a smaller room and tasked with clearing it of enemies. There will be a limited number of enemies, but there will also be limit to the number of health potions so you'll want to strategize for high chains in this room.
- Bonus Stash - This will simply be a room of four treasure chests and four keys. You can take the keys and leave, to ensure you have plenty going forward, or you can open the chests for chances at interesting items or gems.
- Relic Chance Game - You'll appear in a game showroom with Glitzem standing in the middle of the room. He will give you the option to spend 1000 GP for a chance at winning a Relic. My first time here it took me spending 5000 Gems before I finally got a relic, but it was a relic that would normally have gone for 8000 gems in a shop so I still came out with a good deal.
- Shrinemaster - This Portal will only appear in certain levels but will lead you to the Shrinemaster and a locked gate. Each time you visit this location in a run the requirement to open the gate will be different but unlocking them all will lead you to the true ending of the game. Check out our Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon True Ending Guide for more information on the requirements and challenges ahead.
Settings to match your playstyle
Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon can be played as a Roguelite or like a Puzzle game. The first time you start you'll get the option between 1 or Infinite lives but there's actually a lot more settings between that. You can give yourself between 1-10 lives that can make your adventure through the game easier. There are a few games that will affect your ability to earn progression feats/achievements and those are as follows:
- HP Modifier
- Attack Damage Modifier
If any of these settings are altered you won't be able to earn feats. Even if feats are disabled that doesn't stop you from doing any of the following:
- Beating the game
- Beating the true ending of the game
- Unlocking playable characters
- Purchasing Relics or Shortcuts
If you want you can beat the game in its easiest mode, unlock everything you want, and then return to normal gameplay with access to new characters and relics available.