Know what we don’t see too much of anymore? Cartoony platformers. I mean, back in the days of Sega Genesis, we couldn’t turn a corner without some kind of new face making a debut in a platforming game. Nowadays, we’re lucky to get anything with a defining character anymore.
Nearly two years ago, Playful Entertainment did just that with Super Lucky’s Tale for Xbox One. It was a joyful, if somewhat short, adventure with a fox looking for adventure. And, boy, did he find it. Now, that game has found its way to the Nintendo Switch with New Super Lucky’s Tale, and though it’s not really close to the quality of, say, Super Mario Odyssey, it’s still entertaining enough to be worth a look this holiday season, especially if it’s a new platformer you’re after.
Lucky is tasked with protecting something called the Book of Ages from an evil cat named Jynx and his armada of minions. But soon things get out of hand, forcing Lucky to jump into action as each of his recruits step up to do evil things.
As you collect clovers within the game, you slowly begin to regain control of the Book, hopefully attempting to get back home to your family. But some challenges are slightly trickier than others, forcing you to perform certain tasks to get the clovers, such as herding chickens or collecting items around a stage. It’s typical platforming rules, but Playful plays them to the letter, not missing a beat.
Though Lucky isn’t as move-oriented as, say, Mario, he’s got a lot he can do, like double-jumping onto platforms, digging underground to avoid obstacles and trip enemies, and whipping his tail. It’s a highly effective setup, considering the ingenious design of each stage. And it finds just the right balance, too — there’s nothing over-the-top with the way levels are set up, but also nothing incredibly difficult. Platforming fans and kids alike will feel right at home here.
As for the gameplay, it’s still responsive after all these years. There are times when it’s easy to misjudge a jump due to the camera angle, but nothing that you can’t adjust to. It’s great to play in both handheld and TV form, so no matter which way you go, you’ll find a solid control setup to spare. Not to mention the boss battles are a lot more fun than I thought they’d be.
Not only that, but the game also features its main adventure along with its two DLC packs in the same package. So after you complete the original journey, there’s still a lot to do. And a bunch of different outfits to unlock for Lucky as well.
While the game’s visuals aren’t quite as smooth as they were on the Xbox One, New Super Lucky’s Tale still looks great on the Switch, with sharply designed stages and a fun personal touch to the characters. Even the enemies aren’t too much of a threat in terms of design. I like the audio as well, with some pretty good background music and sound effects. The garbled character voices are adorable in some spots.
While New Super Lucky’s Tale doesn’t have any distinctive touches to be a full-on classic like Odyssey, it’s a good time all the same, especially for those seeking a fun, intuitive platformer with hours worth for gameplay. It’s definitely one to pick up for the holiday season, especially if you’re a fan of the genre or just need something to please both the kids and yourself. This is one Lucky journey that pays off in spades.
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