Developed By: Finish Line Games Published By: Modus Games Categories: Adventure, Action, Platformer Release Date: 08.04.20
I’ve always had a bit of a love for videogames about controlling a marble like Marble Madness or Kororinpa. Nice little physics based puzzle games about rolling into a goal. Skully is like a mix between that, an adventure game, and traditional 3D platforming.
As the name might imply, you play as a rolling skull revived from the mud to carry out a helpful service to the man who brought you back with his familial troubles. You’ll go through rivers, rocky plains, a jungle, a swamp, and other places that fit in at home in an island. Just having a natural environment in a game like this is refreshing as so many just use a boardgame aesthetic, which while I do enjoy, is a bit overplayed. As the skull you won’t just roll around, but also jump into different platforms. Be careful though, as water is one of your biggest enemies in the game. Lets get this out of the way right now, the games controls are very sensitive. Slight movements make you move quite fast and twitch, with the game having precision platforming later on in the game it becomes an issue and quickly enters the realm of frustration. Sections of just rolling around were never much of an issue, but often when jumping, you’ll often need to regain your bearings and trying to do this on moving or disappearing platforms over what can be an instant death is problem that happens far too often. All that aside, you don’t just play as a rolling skull, as you advance through the game you also can get transformations to make the game a bit more traditional. With these transformations, you can move obstacles, take out enemies with an attack, and most importantly, have less slippery controls.
The controls aren’t the only huge flaw with the game however. Something very apparent on the Switch version, especially in Handheld Mode is the game’s shoddy performance. In the first few levels, I didn’t notice anything wrong outside of the occasional resolution dip, the framerate stayed consistent though. Not soon after, you’ll reach a point where entire stages have a lower, almost blurry resolution with a choppy framerate. Combine this with the picky platforming and you’re in for a bad time. Combine these with a stage that’s an autoscrolling chase sequence and you’re in for a worse time. On top of that, in said autoscroller, you can’t move the camera to better guide your jumps. At least checkpoints are plentiful in the game.
What do I like about the game then? I think the game has a great presentation. The voice acting is top notch, which is fantastic as you’ll hear it constantly as you play, there’s seldom a point where someone isn’t talking. I like the artstyle too, I just wish I could properly look at things at time without a resolution dip.
I wanted to like Skully, I really did. The Switch port just made that impossible for me though. I’m sure the control issues would be something I could put up with if the game didn’t have the technical issues it does, but that’s yet to be fixed on Switch. If you were going to play this, and if I play the game again, it’ll be elsewhere.
Buy Now: $29.99
*Game Download Code is supplied for review purposes