Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
- DAILY REVIEWS -
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Although this is aimed at those of us who remember platformers from the early 2000s, I kept thinking that the real audience is probably much younger. Between the simple gameplay and light difficulty, there isn't much here that will keep veteran gamers interested for more than an hour or two. But for the younger set, I can see how this might be a good introduction to the genre. I think the graphics look nice, the levels are varied and the characters have a lot of personality. Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island would not be my pick for the best platformer of the year, but you could certainly do a lot worse. Rating: 64%
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island
«
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Between Yooka Laylee, Snake Pass, Voodoo Vince and the upcoming Crash Bandicoot collection, this has been a pretty great year for 3D platformers. Now you can add Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island to the list, because this brand new mascot game continues this trend with a goofy adventure that the whole family can enjoy. And while it's short and a little too easy for veteran players, this is a pretty good first step to what could become a fun long-running franchise.

What we have here is the story of Skylar Lynxe, a ferocious heroine who wakes up to discover that she's been experimented on by an evil monitor known as CRT. The good news is that she now how has a brand new mechanical arm that's good for punching. Unfortunately, the bad news is that her memory has been wiped and she's about to be turned into a slave for a super-computer. But don't feel too bad for the feisty feline, because she quickly escapes CRT's clutches and makes it to Clover Island, where she befriends a helpful owl named Plux.


In true mascot game fashion, it doesn't take long for these two unlikely friends to team up in order to collect a bunch of fuses that will power the siphon. As it turns out, CRT has been doing a lot more than experimenting on Skylar, as it seems he's also captured the Clover Island natives and tossed them into cages. It's up to this cat and bird duo to save the day, grab the fuses and defeat the evil computer once and for all.

This simple setup sends Skylar and Plux to the three large areas of Clover Island. We start with the steep climb up the treacherous mountain, followed by a harrowing stay in the desert and then concluding in an industrial facility full of tubes and lava pits. Each of these areas is split up into several levels, always ending with our heroes collecting the fuses and warping back to the beach.

On top of collecting items and saving the island's inhabitants, you'll also pick up a few helpful upgrades that give Skylar a new set of abilities. We get a helpful jetpack in the first stage, allowing the cat to hover over deadly pits. We'll also snag a power that will let you slow down time, making it easier to reach otherwise difficult platforms. And then there's the magnetic upgrade, which allows Skylar to pick up enemies and other large objects. All three of these powers offer multiple abilities that you will need to master in order to make it through the stages alive.

None of this is especially original or earth-shaking, but it's not really meant to be. This is a throwback to the types of 3D platformers we saw on the PlayStation 2 and GameCube, and it does a good job of evoking the spirit of those old games. Skylar & Plux is also good at mixing things up from one stage to the next. While the first stage is little more than your typical platforming challenges, the next two stages toss in some light puzzle solving. There's a nice variety and the areas don't repeat too many obstacles, which is one of the best things I can say about this brand new mascot game.

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

My main complaint is that Skylar & Plux is a bit too easy. The stages aren't especially taxing, the puzzles are all obvious and there's only one boss to fight. You may die a few times here and there, but gamers that grew up playing these 3D platformers will have no problem speeding through the game in record time. And that's the other problem -- this game is over too quickly. Sure, you can probably spend a bunch of time tracking down all of the cages and getting 100%, but I beat the game in just under three hours. I was actually a little surprised when it ended, as I kind of expected it would open up a bit more and give me another level or two to play. Skylar & Plux is bite-sized when compared to the other platformers released this year.

I also wish the combat was a bit deeper. Our feline heroine basically has only three moves -- a Crash Bandicoot-style spin, a butt-stomp and a close-quarters punch. This gets the job done, but just barely. Of course, it doesn't help that you're essentially fighting the same two enemies in every stage. And did I mention that there's only one boss? While I certainly appreciate that the levels are nice and varied, I wish the same could be said about the bad guys.

Although this is aimed at those of us who remember platformers from the early 2000s, I kept thinking that the real audience is probably much younger. Between the simple gameplay and light difficulty, there isn't much here that will keep veteran gamers interested for more than an hour or two. But for the younger set, I can see how this might be a good introduction to the genre. I think the graphics look nice, the levels are varied and the characters have a lot of personality. Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island would not be my pick for the best platformer of the year, but you could certainly do a lot worse.
comments powered by Disqus