REVIEW / Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island

A charming platformer that offers more family fun than difficult platforming.

Skylar and Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a charming platformer that plays out in a vibrant world. You don’t have to look to hard to see how much inspiration the game draws from previous title of the genre; from the stunning vista to the cartoon-like art style; everything in Skylar and Plux feels familiar, which is not a bad thing. Combining this familiarity which some unique gameplay gadgets and hilarious dialog, Skylar & Plux is a short adventure that is worth taking… for beginners anyway.

You play as Skylar Lynx, a courageous heroine who has been experimented on by the villainous CRT. On the bright side, these experiments have given you a talking and robotic arm. This arm not only allows you to punch enemies on your adventure, but also helps you to escape the weaponising CRT’s space station. It’s this hastily escape that result in you crash landing into Clover Island, where you soon learn that it’s not just our furry friend Skylar that has been subject to CRT tyranny.

Its is also on Clover Island where Skylar meets Plux, a surfer-dude(esk) owl who is genuinely hilarious. Together the two must travel through three separate regions of Clover Island in search for the siphon fuses, a machine that the Island leader believes will destroy the CRT for good. It’s fair to say that this story arch isn’t exactly original, well, to be honest, it pretty much the story of most iconic platformers. With that said, the story of Skylar & Plux doesn’t feel overused , outdated or stale, it’s actually really enjoyable to play through. This is no doubt due to the continuously funny dialog shared between the heroes and villain and the wonderfully illustrated cut scene that break up the gameplay loop.

Skylar & Plux’s platforming inspiration comes straight out of the early 2000’s, putting the charming graphics aside, it often felt like I was playing through a classic PS2 platformer, and the game does a brilliant job of awakening those fond memories. However, the platforming here is way too easy. Throughout my play though I only died twice, and both of those was in combat, not by a tricky platforming section. Towards the end of the game there is more of a focus on vertical platforming, which does slightly increase the challenge, but nothing to really get your heart racing.

An area where the platforming does stand out is how well it integrates with the different gadgets you’ll find on your adventure. The first gadget, a jump boosting jetpack, is pretty bog standard but still feel important in some sections of the game. The second gadget you acquire is the standout of the show, a time shifting orb that not only allows you to slow down elements of the environment, but also shows you what certain areas use to look like (before CRT played waste to the land).

Although this time-shifting device doesn’t add much of a challenge to Skylar & Plux’s platforming, it does a good job of mixing up the gameplay in that region of Clover Island. The same has to be said for the final gadget you acquire, the magnetic glove, which doesn’t feel as original as the time-orb, but still brings enough variety to the gameplay.

The two previous mention gadgets also bring a puzzle element with them. In the latter stages of both the second and third area you’ll need to overcome some logistical puzzles. Much like the rest of Skylar & Plux’s these puzzle offer very little difficultly, and although i enjoyed completing them I do feel that this was a missed opportunity to provide more of a substantial challenge.

I wish I could say that the combat provide the challenge both the platforming and puzzles lack, but again this isn’t the case. Firstly you’ll only come up against two different types of enemies, both of which can be finished in one hit. Secondly you only have three attacks at your disposal; a standard punch, a spin attach and a jump and smash. Toward the end off the game the magnetic glove brings a new depth to the combat, allowing you to throw huge metal ball into the enemies, but this is only on a handful of occasions. There is a boss fight in the game, which, I did die on one occasions, however, once I had learnt his movements he really didn’t take long to defeat.

If you have any experience of platforming games or gaming in general then boredom will probably set in before completing Skylar & Plux, which is really saying something for a 3 hour game. Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a very good family adventure game. It’s simple platforming, charming story and two button combat means that almost anyone can play though this funny platforming adventure.