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A trailer for: The Art of the Video game Trailer

The art of creating a good videogame trailer is more important than ever.

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Shovel Knight

A trailer gives you a few minutes to capture an audience’s attention, entice them, tease them and leave them wanting to play your game.

This week, two new trailers, both featuring shovels, set about this task in very different ways.

The first, for Shovel Knight, takes a retro looking game about a man with a spade, and treats it as an epic quest. It makes a small game feel as big as any blockbuster. It leaves you feeling pumped and ready to save the world.

The other, for the Vita release of Farming Simulator 14, takes the Nintendo approach and shows a family of catalogue models enjoying an afternoon of crop management. Nevermind that you could probably buy a real farm for the cost of three Vitas, three copies of the game, and three Sony Memory Cards.

I’m sure Farming Simulator 14 has its pleasures, but I can promise you that the forced grin on young Timmy’s face as he parks a tractor is an expression that has never occurred in real life. To be frank, the wildly popular Farming Simulator spoof trailers do a better job of selling the game. This is my fave.

Perhaps a trailer can only be as good as the game it advertises. But if their job is to make a game look exciting, I know which one makes me want to buy a shovel.


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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe.