Skully is an adorable game developed by Finish Line Games, published by Modus Games, and available on all of the current gaming platforms. You are Skully, a reanimated skull whose mission is to help Terry reunite with his siblings who are scattered across a beautiful Island.
Skully initially seems like a simple game. You are a little skull who rolls around the environment and jumps over obstacles. Skully has been reanimated using magic clay, so you’ll need to avoid getting wet, and as the game progress’s, you gain the ability to use special clay pools, allowing you to turn into different creatures that will help you navigate certain areas. You can transform into a strong and hulking creature, gaining the ability to destroy boulders or attack the various enemies that you face on the island.
Players can also change into a swift little creature who can quickly traverse terrain and move certain types of rocks. Finally, the vault form, which as the name suggests, allows you to jump higher than the other forms available. The Vault form also shares the ability to move boulders around, though unlike the Swift who can only move them side to side, the Vault form can move them up and down.
Gameplay is really quite simple, with Skully rolling in your chosen direction and bouncing over objects. It can be a bit difficult to control, as Skully will always be moving around, but once you get used to the timings, you’re fairly well off. The creatures that you can turn into all move in the same kind of way, though gain extra abilities that are controlled by the bumper and trigger buttons on your chosen platform, and while you can have up to three creatures in play at once, you can only ever have one being controlled.
Changing creatures is as simple as plucking Skully out of their mouths and moving on, while the creature will stay where you left them. The game doesn’t allow for much exploration, but as you travel you can collect flowers that unlock some collectables. Most of the environments are surrounded by water, or lava later on, and you must carefully jump between surfaces. Being made of clay, if you fall in the water you will die, but luckily there are check points throughout the levels.
The story behind Skully is quite sad, with Terry, the one who created you, trying to reunite his family of elementals after a bitter feud decades before the events of the game. Terry, the Earth element, resembles a human made of earth and grass. Living in different areas of the island are Wanda, the water elemental, Brett, the air element, and finally Fiona, the fire element. With the help of his creation Skully, Terry is on a mission to unite them all once more, and anyone with a brother or sister can relate to the arguments that Terry has with his family. Or maybe that’s just me.
The art style of Skully is amazing, with the game taking you to different parts of the island. From the forest to the clouds, or down to the lava centre, each landscape has been lovingly crafted from the colours to the fine details. The collectable flowers unlock beautiful art work, which I would stongly recommend everyone try to find as many as you can.
Skully himself is a simple design, but the creatures he can become are all unique and very cute, and while the music changes as the levels progress and is generally really good, I found myself having to turn it off completely as I struggled through various levels. Even good music can be too repetitive at times.
Skully at times made me want to rip my hair out. A round ball having to jump onto little floating rocks as a tidal wave came for me, while also not being able to see in front of me was insane. At times the game had timed events, such as the tidal wave and it really helped the game not feel as though it’s too much of the same thing. Skully was challenging enough that I was screaming at the TV, but also fun and intriguing to the point where I couldn’t put it down. You can’t change the difficulty so you’ve either got it, or you will break your controller or TV.
- Beautiful artwork
- Easy controls
- Challenging… really challenging