Review: Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island (PS4)

Review: Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island
Format: PSN (4.3 GB)
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Publisher: Grip Digital
Developer: Right Nice Games / Grip Digital
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
You play as a nimble anthropomorphic feline named Skylar Lynxe. Together with a trusty sidekick, Plux Owlsley the small and chatty bird, you must stop the evil CRT and his minions from conquering Clover Island.

With no memories and an unwillingness to talk, you’ll set off through a simple introductory area that delivers the amusing narrative through audio chatter and teaches you the controls along the way. You have an effective grapple and pull mechanic that is barely used after the initial area and a double jump, which you do constantly.

You eventually gain a couple of new abilities, one of which is to slow time, allowing you to jump on what would be impossibly fast spinning platforms. Time manipulation is used in a few places for solving puzzles and can be helpful when an annoying rocket barrage is hurtling toward you.

Each of the three levels, accessed from a central hub area, is quite different in their aesthetics and gameplay mechanics needed to advance through them. They are all quite large but fairly linear in their design and while there are one or two secret areas, I’d hoped for lots more.

Only three kinds of enemies obstruct your path to the orbs you have been asked to acquire by the caged inhabitants of Clover Island. With one hundred of the shards scattered around the island, you can free one of them. Freeing four of the odd-looking things adds a health slot so it can be beneficial to hunt them down.

… The size of the levels is quite impressive …
This isn’t a difficult game and it was only during one of the last areas and the final boss that I lost a life. Some sketchy hit detection on the enemies can occasionally cause some bother but nothing else became problematic. Even the puzzles were simplistic and I only had to look around briefly for the solution to appear.

After a lot of jumping, some simple puzzles, and a few fights with minions, I completed the game in just over two hours, and that included some exploration for a few of those elusive cages. Once you complete the game, you can go back and hunt for the missed prisoners but aside from the Trophies, I felt no desire to do so.

The story is okay and brought a smile to my face on a few occasions and I would like to see more from the characters in the future. Some players might be annoyed by the infrequent checkpoints but at least they’re filled with confetti.

Visuals:
The size of the levels is quite impressive and for the most part, it all looks rather nice. There are a few grand vistas showing the expansive level you just traversed sprawled out below. Each area has a distinct style and theme with hardly any repetition.

Slowing time is a cool feature that is slightly underused, as is the time manipulation which creates a bubble around a particular area. This is used for rebuilding fallen pillars or statues allowing Skylar to get through a previously blocked doorway or across a perilous gap.

The style is reminiscent of Ratchet & Clank but with much less detail and flair. A few cartoon stills that start and close the story look pretty and I was quite fond of these, but just like everything else in this game, I would have liked to have seen more.

… a concise and succinct adventure that shows promise …
Audio:
Your antagonist berates and mocks you as you play, shelling out snippets of information about the story and trying to make jokes about the situation or your actions. It reminds me of the witty Borderlands 2 nemesis Handsome Jack.

The music and sound effects are nice and compliment the lighthearted adventuring. My only gripe is the warbling of Plux, which can be a little distracting.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a concise and succinct adventure that shows promise for what the developers can deliver the next time. It’s an enjoyable outing that gamers of all ages can play thanks to the low difficulty.

You might have noticed that I wanted more of pretty much everything from story, action, narration, and length. I hope that enough people will give this a chance and the developers will get a chance to continue the enjoyable story, maybe with more characters and a larger world next time?

It took a long time to decide on the score, ironically longer than the game lasted. It wasn’t all I was doing mind you, I don’t want to give you the impression I just sat staring into space contemplating the numerical value this review deserves, I also made a cup of tea.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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