Yacht Club Games, developers of the excellent Shovel Knight and the upcoming Mina the Hollower, has announced the imminent arrival of Shovel Knight Dig. The 2D semi-roguelike arrives on September 23 and comes with a charming trailer featuring some of the developers playing dress-up, as well as plenty of footage from a title that has apparently been in the works for around four years.
Shovel Knight Dig will take players deep underground in pursuit of Drill Knight, who blew up Shovel Knight's campsite and stole all his stuff. But there's more going on than it first appears: As both knights soon discover, "this adventure goes much deeper than a simple heist."
The game also promises a big technological leap forward, with "glorious high color pixel graphics and sound," improved animation, and proprietary level generation tech that will enable "infinite replayability."
The 'Dig' here is about the roguelike aspect to the title, which has "thousands of pixel-perfect level chunks, which are procedurally stitched together to create infinite adventurous combinations."
So you go down a well, hit things with a shovel, keep going down, and it's different every time. Exactly how different remains to be seen, because getting a Spelunky-like balance of challenge and surprise is no mean feat, but given the quality of Shovel Knight games so far we can be optimistic.
Shovel Knight Dig also has an overarching upgrade structure around it. You acquire riches on each run, which can be used to permanently upgrade the Knight and his trusty shovel (among other equipment). I haven't gone back to the brilliant Dead Cells in a while, despite its regular pace of updates, so this may well be the new roguelike I'm looking for.
Shovel Knight Dig isn't yet listed on Steam, but will no doubt be there soon. (September 23 is only a few weeks away, after all.) When it does appear it will be with a 10% launch discount, and you can find out more about what's happening at yachtclubgames.com.