Wow, 2017 has already seen some amazing old-school platformers. Yooka-Laylee came out strong despite its faults, and just recently we were treated to the spectacle that is Super Mario Odyssey. While it’s no secret that indie developers and AAA studios alike are attempting comebacks with 3D platforming games, the current gaming market is becoming over saturated with shooters, racers, new consoles, new console iterations, loot boxes, microtransactions and more. Trying to find a great game in a sea of mediocrity is like trying to find a four-leafed clover. Well Lucky for us, Playful Corp. and Microsoft have reached down, plucked that lucky clover, gave it a name, and handed it right to us. It’s name: Super Lucky’s Tale.
Super Lucky’s Tale is a sequel for the Xbox One family of consoles and Windows 10 as part of the Play Anywhere series of games. Not having an Oculus Rift I never got to play Lucky’s Tale, so I was unfamiliar with Lucky and his band of characters. Getting introduced to Lucky, his sister, Jinx and his Kitty Litter for the first time was an absolute treat. There is excellent gameplay, bright and colorful graphics, and enough collectibles to keep any gamer busy.
Super Lucky’s Tale is the story of a little Fox, named Lucky, who gets trapped inside “The Book of Ages”. It’s up to him to help the inhabitants of the book break free from Jinx and his Kitty Litter crew. There are plenty of humorous characters, NPCs, and random animals throughout the worlds that have players constantly on the lookout for things in the background they might miss.
On the surface Super Lucky’s Tale appears to be your standard 3D Platformer game starring an adorable cast of characters, but burrow down deeper and there is much more being offered. In addition to the already well-designed 3D levels, Super Lucky’s Tale goes further by adding 2D platform levels, and “Burrow Run” levels. A Burrow Run level is an auto-scrolling level that relies heavily Lucky’s “Burrow Dive” move. A move where he can burrow underground and launch himself out a short distance. This move also has some amazing uses in other levels as it can be used to snag collectibles. Players don’t have total control over the camera, but they can stop moving, press the Y button, and look around. They can also move the right thumbstick to rotate the camera a little, but not by much. Usually just enough to help the player see something they need to. This can be frustrating; not having total control over the camera can cause Lucky to land in unexpected places.
The addition of 2D and auto-scrolling levels are just a small section of what Super Lucky’s Tale has to offer. Each world has a number of levels a player can enter as well as plenty to look at in the worlds themselves. This include the addition of puzzles. In the first world players will encounter a series of increasingly difficult slide puzzles. While it might seem out of the blue on paper, the mad geniuses at Playful Corp. have included these levels as a way to take a small break from all the platforming. A really neat thing about the inclusion of these puzzle levels is that they are entirely optional. Players don’t have to complete them unless they are trying to collect every clover, and let’s face it, the hardcore collectors are going to be completing these puzzles. I know I am.
Lucky jumps, double jumps, burrows, spins, and does just about everything with precision and grace. Animations are smooth and button presses register instantly. If a player falls to their death, it is because it was their own fault. A minimal moveset also makes the barrier to entry for this game almost non-existent. Gamer families of all levels can easily jump in and begin the colorful and fun journey of Lucky. I did notice a bit of a difficulty spike as more worlds opened up, but that’s nothing that taking a breath, analyzing the levels, and attempting them again won’t fix.
The characters in Super Lucky’s Tale all speak in a manner that is reminiscent of The Sims. Not quite English, not quite a foreign language. It’s quirky and adorable and only continues to add to the charm of the game. Music and sound is crystal clear and fits in the world set-up by Super Lucky’s Tale perfectly. With each world having it’s own theme there is quite an eclectic array of musical gems.
Super Lucky’s Tale is an Xbox One X Enhanced title. That means it supports 4K and HDR output if you have the corresponding hardware and television. Since I do not have an Xbox One X (yet) nor a 4K television, I was unable to experience Super Lucky’s Tale the way it was meant to be played. That doesn’t take away anything from the game though, as colors are bright and vibrant. Animations look amazing and are super crisp. Even on a non 4K TV and regular Xbox One the game looked amazing. Even after a death and Lucky goes from “happy” to “shocked” as the life counter ticks down. The detail on the face was clear, colorful, and has the aesthetic of a Disney/Pixar cartoon. I can only imagine how great this game will look upscaled with an Xbox One X and a 4K screen.
Collectors will have a field day going back and trying to get all the clovers in the game. Players can progress with a minimal amount of clovers, but the exploration and puzzle solving of Super Lucky’s Tale really shouldn’t be ignored.
Super Lucky’s Tale is an incredible looking game with the gameplay to match. The gang at Playful Corp. have put out a family friendly, yet challenging game with lots to look at, loads to do, enough collectables to keep you entertained for hours.
The reviewer was given a copy of Super Lucky’s Tale for this review. For more information, check out the official Playful Corp website.