Games in the 80s were hard. Checkpoints were rare, enemies hit hard, and every jump had to be perfectly executed to avoid bottomless pits. Mana and health refills were scarce. These games were filled with secrets, but getting to them was a serious test of skill. With most of these conventions having been abandoned in recent decades, would a retro-inspired game that goes back to these roots hold up? Shovel Knight proves that it’s definitely possible.