Who knew? All this time, I always thought Konami was invested in so many of its franchises that it wouldn’t try something new. But, alas, here we are with its first “indie” title in quite some time, the charming if somewhat difficult Skelattack. And those of you that are in the market for a challenging platformer shouldn’t have a bone to pick with it.
Those Pesky Humans!
I won’t divulge too much of the story because it kind of goes into spoiler territory. But Skully, aided by a friendly bat, Imber, decides to take them on, sword in hand, for the sake of his kind. What follows is a Metroidvania-style adventure where you take on a variety of humans while overcoming platforming challenges. If you’re familiar with games like Dead Cells and Guacamelee!, this should be just your speed.
What’s more, the game has a unique approach with its visuals, almost looking like something akin to the Cuphead style of design. It’s got these great hand-drawn images that bring a Tim Burton-esque world to life, even if some of the level design is put into question. This ran very smoothly with the Xbox One version we tested, and it didn’t let up over the course of the adventure.
That, combined with the somewhat sweet music score and interesting sound effects, create an experience that’s not usually with the Konami fold. I kind of like that, if only because they aren’t afraid to diversify and try new things. Hell, it’d be great to see what other fun platformers and experiences they cook up.
Be Ready For a Challenge
That said, Skelattack does take some getting used to, mainly with its challenge level. While there are more than enough checkpoints to go around, it can take a bit of adjusting to get into the gameplay, particularly with wall jumps. They’re a bit messy at first, but as you get into the rhythm, it becomes fairly easier to get to higher areas. But only slightly.
What’s more, it doesn’t help that some of the traps mean instantaneous death, and you have to venture back to the checkpoint and attempt the perilous spot again to try and get your gems back. This could’ve been a little easier in terms of design, to go along with the game’s charming visuals. Alas, it may throw a few people off in the long run.
But if you can get into it, you’ll find a game worth your time. It’s hardly on the same level of Dead Cells, but, really, what is? And it’s just the summertime game you might just need if you’re in the mood for something Halloween-y.
Hardly Bone Dry
Besides, supporting something of this level will push Konami to keep trying out the indie waters. Imagine a Castlevania-style adventure with hand-drawn graphics as well. Shivers.
A flawed but enjoyable platforming adventure, Skelattack is worth the time of Metroidvania fans.