From stages to fighters, we have lots to share about Showdown before its December release. Today, we’ll lay down some ground rules and take a look at universal gameplay mechanics within Showdown.



If you’ve played any game in the Shovel Knight series, then you’ll be ready to jump right in! The familiar core mobility of Shovel Knight, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight translates right over to their Showdown counterparts. From run speed to jump height, their capabilities remain much the same! You can expect some changes to their attacks and abilities to better fit into the Showdown space.

Health and Damage

A unique part of Showdown is that all characters have exactly the same health and all player attacks deal exactly the same amount of damage! A clear 4 hits will knock out both the biggest and smallest of baddies. Of course, pushing an opponent into a pit or lava hazard will result in an instant KO as well, no matter their health.

Hit Flash

Much like in the singleplayer Shovel Knight games, getting hit by an attack will cause your character to flash, granting you some precious moments of invincibility. Use this time to escape a bad situation, follow-up attacks, or get to a pickup! Note, however, that you can’t pick up gems while you are flashing.

Due to this invulnerability, you won’t need to worry about successive follow-up attacks. If you’re a seasoned Shovel Knight player, you’re probably thinking that this is a perfect time to launch a counterattack of your own! It’s a viable strategy…but beware!

Attacking while in Hit Flash will completely remove your invulnerability. Not only that but it also adds additional startup time to whatever attack you executed! It might be worth taking a chance on a surprise counterattack, but if your opponent anticipates it, then you’ll end up taking even more hits! Any action beyond running and jumping will activate this hit-flash recovery, even if you’re using a move evasively (for example, Plague Knight’s Bomb Burst). It can be worth it to keep the pressure up on a weakened, flashing player.


Matches in Showdown can get quite hectic! Flurries of incoming attacks impede your otherwise perfect platforming! Every character has access to a universal defensive maneuver: Parry.

With the press of a button, you’ll flash in a defensive stance…

During the flash, if you manage to connect with an incoming attack…

…you’ll flash brighter and then retaliate with a wide-reaching knockback! It hits far beyond just your character and will even clear away nearby enemies and projectiles. It’s a great tool for holding your ground, buying a few moments for your next attack, and pushing your enemies off a platform into nearby hazards.

There’s one big difference for this strictly defensive maneuver: It does not deal any damage! It also does not initiate an opponent’s hit flash. Even after a successful parry, players may quickly reengage.

Mistiming your parry will leave you in a more vulnerable state, and you won’t be able to parry again for a short while. So don’t get baited by your opponent!


This is less something you can take advantage of and more something you should be aware of! If two attacks collide at just the right time…

…then a clash will occur, pushing both aggressors apart! Regain your composure and strike again!


We hope that gives you a solid foundation in the fights ahead! If you want to continue hitting the books in preparation, then be sure to check out our Mona character spotlight. Until next time!