Noun: shovelware; Plural Noun: shovelware

A “cookie cutter” game that is part of a series which heavily reuses assets or code.
“Since Steam allowed the sale of adult-games, the Store has been flooded with shovelware.”


Also called “cookie-cutter” games, “shovelware” describes two or more games that share most (if not all) of the same code. The differences between brethren shovelware are surface-level, or inconsequential. By reusing the same assets and code, like-shovelware appear to be copies each other.

Shovelware are associated with asset flips and memeware.

Puzzle games are the most egregious genre for shovelware practices. Puzzle games are commonly re-released several times, save for a new title and artwork. It’s not difficult for developers to reskin and resell their software. Though the term “shovelware” is generally negative, I think that puzzle games are one of the few acceptable cases. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel — a developer should not waste time overhauling code between releases, introducing bugs and unfamiliarity by fixing what isn’t broken.

— I feel like I’ve played this game before. Oh wait, I have.

DatWombat, Review for Hentai Harem: Nikki