Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island – review

  • Format: Xbox One ( version reviewed), PS4, PC
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Grip Digital
  • Developer: Right Nice Games, Grip Digital
  • Players: 1
  • Site: http://www.adventureoncloverisland.com/
  • Game code provided by PR

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island harkens back to the good old days of 3D platforming. Well, not the good old, old days of N64 and the like, but PS2-era platforming. Y’know… the era where all the characters have spin attacks? That’s actually starting to become a pet peeve… but we digress. Skylar & Plux is pretty decent on the whole, though it’s just little a bit short.

A collectathon it is not; despite having things to collect, it only really boils down to collecting two things – Lo’a (harmless pillow-like citizens of Clover Island that have been caged by the mighty villain “CRT” ) and collectibles to unlock those cages. Collectibles drop from pretty much anything that can be destroyed, enemies and priceless vases alike. They’re lying around all over the place, like breadcrumbs leading you to various interesting things but with the added bonus of healing you. Free enough Lo’a though and their village Elder will grant you another heart for your life gauge; even though freeing poor, defenceless Lo’a should be reward enough in itself, you monster!

First and foremost we have to mention that when we played through the game there was an issue with the Xbox One version which meant we got very poor visuals, noticeable slowdown, and other graphical glitches (this is apparently unique to the Xbone). At time of writing it isn’t fixed on the Xbox One and we can’t attest to how much differently the game plays on PC and PS4, though we hear that there aren’t any graphical or performance issues with those versions.

Most 3D platformers tend to be aimed at kids for difficulty and have some adult humour thrown in so us oldies can enjoy it too. With Skylar and Plux however it seems maybe a wee bit reversed. The humour is childish but in a Saturday morning kids show sort of way, while the actual platforming does seem to be maybe a little more difficult than usual at points when you take into consideration how well enemies can hit you if you aren’t properly prepared.

It’s mostly difficulty spikes rather than full-on brutal platforming all the way through. Most of the jumping sections aren’t particularly difficult but having small robots hitting you as you jump up to a platform doesn’t give you much of a chance to dodge out the way. This is a little more frustrating when a turret gets good at tracking you at the same time.

The only other “bad” thing we can say about the game is that there’s actually quite a lot of places that we couldn’t jump up to or onto. It’s not that there’s invisible walls, but instead there are invisible boundaries on some of the areas that look climbable; almost exclusively the hub and first areas of the game. There are hills which we tried to jump up but were pushed off of due to hidden boundaries, so we just slipped into water or off down the side of the mountain below. It’s not a huge issue, but it restricts exploration in a few areas we felt we should be allowed to play about in – especially since it does sometimes give you small areas like that to grab collectibles from.

There are powers that you gain over the course of the adventure, but some are used more often than others. The special ability for the jetpack isn’t used that often so it’s mostly for slowly gliding rather than jumping up onto high platforms, or used in any puzzles in any meaningful way. The time-slowing power is cool but becomes a little too easy to abuse in combat – though it is really fun to use. Last is the magnetic power, which just doesn’t get a whole lot of playtime because you get it fairly late in the game. It’s all good fun but there’s not quite enough of it all, so it feels like it’s not reaching its potential.

Technical issues aside it’s a competent game. It’s a good platformer with a good price tag for a new game of its length. It more or less seems like it’s been made as a springboard for a sequel (well, hopefully) but for the moment, if it interests you and you have the option, get it on another platform or wait for the patch.

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I’ve done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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