When it comes to every now and then, you come across a hidden gem. Skelattack is one of those games.
Konami has been looking for a hit since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain but failed to follow up that success dropping Metal Gear Survive and Contra: Rogue Corps, which were panned by critics and gamers. Rightfully so. Instead of one of its big-name titles delivering the goods, Konami has got itself a win with an indie title from Ukuza Inc.
The brainchild of David Stanley, Skelattack, is a unique, beautifully designed game that features lovable characters, well thought out levels complimented with a charming story. In the game, you take control of the hero Skully on the eve of his remembrance day. On this special occasion, the undead citizens of the Aftervale are reminded of their former lives before they passed to the other side. Skully’s day is interrupted when humans from the kingdom above invade. Instead of stealing the treasures the Aftervale holds, the humans kidnap the village elder skeleton Elzedon and take the magic called the Blue Flame that helps bring the undead spirits back to life. With the help of his trusty bat companion Imber, Skully sets out on an adventure to save Elzedon and stop the human’s plot dead (no pun intended) in its tracks.
At first glance, Skelattack looks like another cute platformer, but that just hides the fact that it’s deceptively challenging. As you take Skully to the different dungeons, you will encounter a variety of enemies. Crocodiles, sword-wielding knights, ax throwing barbarians, bugs, whose sole purpose is to keep you from reaching your goal. But that’s not all, dangerous traps like crossbows, different variations of spikes, giant guillotines, fireballs, and more will make your life absolutely miserable while playing Skelattack and if you’re not careful will kill either Skully or Imber instantly.
Now I cannot sugarcoat this, but you’re going to die, A LOT, playing this game. In fact, the game hilariously makes light of how many times you have perished while on your mission to save the Aftevale. As a matter of fact, my go around with the game the pesky spikes contributed to my frustrations and had me shaking my Nintendo Switch. Thank goodness the game counters the high death rates with saving locations where Skully and Imber can respawn and are usually not too far from where you met your doom.
Like most platformers that allow you to revisit areas, Skelly starts off bare-bones when it comes to skills and just armed with a sword. As you progress through the game, you will be able to upgrade your weapon and learn new abilities that will help make your mission not as painstakingly difficult.
As for the controls, they are straightforward and responsive. Outside of your buddy Imber, jumping is your next best friend in the game and will help you get certain areas and avoiding enemies and traps.
For only $19.99, Skelattack was a fun, enjoyable, and extremely challenging experience. It proves that not only the big studio titles are worth your time, and these indie developers are really putting in the work to put out great games. If you’re into games with rewarding experiences, Skelattack should definitely find its way into your library of games to play while staying safe inside your homes.
Skelattack is now available for the Xbox, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC Steam.
Photo: Konami / Ukuza Inc.