Memories of an extinct game…

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a whimsical 3D platformer, complete with a sidekick that follows you around, and a goofy villain constantly giving wonderfully annoying radio chatter. The dialogue is campy fun, perfect for this childhood reminiscent, cartoony looking game, that brings to mind whatever 3D platformer you grew up with. The story is barely distracting at all, it’s there, but at points you might forget there’s even a story until the end. It’s all about the gameplay, using your jet pack to blast off, and your special magnetic arm to swing around, and smack armies of enemies into oblivion. While jumping from platform to platform, or mountain to mountain top you’re constantly being attacked, but the tight controls and movement of the character keep you on the upper hand. It feels rudimentary yet satisfying to engage in the slapstick attacks. At first, dispatching enemies is quite a breeze, but the challenge gradually increases to become fairly difficult.

The level design is one of the standout features of the game. Each area looks completely different, yet still has a familiar feel. Bouncing off of giant mushrooms is fun and jumping onto moving platforms never gets old. The game is gorgeously coloured and vibrant. The only thing that diminishes from the overall polish is the fairly old looking graphics, which at points can look blurry, especially if the brightness is turned up.

The largest, and only obnoxious flaw of the game is the loading time which does not meet the standard of an Xbox One – it certainly brings to mind memories of old school gaming though, at a cost. The only other flaw I care to mention is the mindless repetition of the game. There’s a few puzzles to break things up, but they’re not exactly chin strokers. The entire game revolves around dodging and hitting enemies with little variation, it’s all a little automatic, even when challenging. In many ways, the game is less unique than it could have been, and can feel like leftovers from childhood memories.

Gripes aside, Skylar & Plux is a fun, short adventure. It offers tight 3D platforming in a family friendly package, with relaxing music and bright colours. It may not be the most polished title in its genre, but its gleeful simplicity brought me back to a much simpler time with no obligations. This is one of my favourite 3D platformers to play when I just want a nice and easy experience, something that can pass the time without too much stress involved. Skylar & Plux comes recommended despite its shortcomings.

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