Today Yacht Club Games held its first-ever Nintendo Direct-esque news stream, and ended it with a surprise announcement: Shovel Knight Dig, an entirely new Shovel Knight game co-developed by Yacht Club Games and U.K.-based developer Nitrome.
The game looks to be a significant departure from past Shovel Knight titles. Still sticking with pixel art, the color palette and resolution of Shovel Knight Dig more closely mimics games of the 16- and 32-bit era. It's still a sidescroller, with a game world that appears to flow between vertical and horizontal sections, many filled up with dirt tiles that the player can dig and execute dashes through with their shovel.
Two new antagonists, Drill Knight and Spore Knight, appear briefly in the trailer. Shovel Knight is the only playable character shown so far, though the developer teases that familiar characters will return in some form. Composer Jake "virt" Kaufman is returning to the series for Shovel Knight Dig's soundtrack.
Co-developer Nitrome has released dozens of browser games alongside a handful of titles for mobile platforms and one game, Bomb Chicken, for the Nintendo Switch. Yacht Club Games is holding off on announcing a release window or platforms for Shovel Knight Dig, saying the game has "quite a ways to go still," but there will be a playable demo at PAX West this weekend.
Earlier in the stream, the developer announced that the complete edition of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove will come to the Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One via digital and retail in December 2019.