SKYLAR & PLUX: ADVENTURE ON CLOVER ISLAND
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 19, 2017
Sometimes you just know that is about time you took a holiday! Hmmm, but where to go? Maybe an island vacation is just what the doctor ordered! So let's pack up our things and head out to Clover Island; a colorful and beautiful place, filled with. wait a darn minute! Filled with minions of an evil entity called CRT? Well, that just won't do!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've been playing Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island. This colorful 3D platformer, developed and published by Right Nice Games and Grip Digital, puts us squarely in the action-oriented boots of our feline heroine, Skylar Lynxe. As the game starts, Skylar awakes on a vast space station with no memory of what happened or how she got there. And, as if that wasn't enough, she also has a brand new mechanical arm. Not just any old mechanical arm, I might add; this arm can talk!
Skylar might not know what brought her to this place or how she managed to acquire a mechanical arm, but she does know one thing; she wants to get the hell off this space station! This, however, is not quite in line with the evil plans of the station's leader, the villainous CRT. Plans or no, Skylar makes her escape and crash lands on Clover Island. This is where she meets a feathery friend, who will act as trusty sidekick in her adventures: Plux Owlsly. Plux is waiting for his father to come and get him and by the sound of it, he's been waiting for quite some time...
After the crash, Skylar quickly finds out that Clover Island is nowhere near as idyllic as she had hoped. It seems that CRT has gotten it in his evil mind to turn this beautiful and paradise-like island into a industry-driven haven of technology. Their first order of business is freeing the island's Elder, who has been imprisoned by CRT. After freeing her, the Elder explains to our dynamic duo what has been going on and what they must do to save the island and its inhabitants from CRT's evil clutches. Skylar and Plux are the island's only hope in defeating CRT's minions and restoring peace this former paradise. To do so, they will have to make their way through all the different sections of the island, reclaim a number of fuses that CRT has stolen and return them to the island's elder.
The game's main focus is on old-school 3D platforming, something which it does perfectly. In terms of basic gameplay, it is most reminiscent of games like Ratchet & Clank and the 3D renditions of Rayman. You will have to make your way across treacherous terrains like beaches, mountains, caverns and even a desert, all the while collecting shiny gemstone shards and fighting CRT's minions. To help you do this, your mechanical arm doubles as a weapon. With it, you can clobber enemies into tiny mechanical pieces, using a normal attack or a spin-attack, which can hit multiple enemies at a time. When you defeat an enemy, it explodes and releases a number of the same shards that are scattered across all sections of the island.
Now, you could evade certain enemies, but that would mean less shards to collect. Why is that a bad thing? Well, because you are going to need as much shares as possible if you want to save the imprisoned inhabitants of Clover Island, The Lo'a. It seems that CRT takes his villainy very seriously and he has captured the Lo'a and has put them in cages that are scattered across the island. Now, these aren't ordinary cages, these are special cages that can only be opened by spending your hard earned shards, 100 of the per cage, to be precise. Once in a while, you'll hear a soft sobbing, which means that one of the captured Lo'a is near. It is your job to find out exactly where the Lo'a is located and to set them free.
When you start playing Skylar & Plux, you have no special abilities, except for your talking mechanical arm and a grappling hook that lets you swing across ravines. Although this is cool in itself, it isn't nearly enough to make it through the entire game, so the thoughtful people at Right Nice Games and Grip Digital provided a few special upgrades for us. The first of these upgrades is a jet pack, which lets you jump to previously unreachable ledges, lets you hover across wider gaps and gives you the ability to execute a move called the rocket-roll. This running jump comes in very handy when you want to evade enemies or jump farther.
The second upgrade you come across is a Time Orb. This little contraption lets you slow down time, so you can dodge incoming attacks or traverse frantically spinning discs. If you use this Time Orb with pylons that are placed around the environment, you can even turn back time and change certain things in the environment, clearing a previously blocked path for you to take! It also shows you bits and pieces of how the island looked, prior to CRT's meddling. It is a really cool feature that I just love using! The final upgrade comes in the shape of the Magnetic Glove which. well. stick to metal surfaces! With this glove, you can grab enemy projectiles and send them hurling back at their owner, blowing said owner to smithereens! Hah! Take that, you mechanical miscreants!
All in all, Skylar & Plux is a very fun game to play. The only thing about it I like somewhat less is its length, or the lack thereof... It is a fairly short game that would have benefited from a couple extra hours of gameplay. The rest of the game is right up my alley; the graphics are colorful and look really good. The characters are fun and fit the game's premise perfectly. The 3D platforming gameplay is a time-tested genre and still as fun as it was when I played my first 3D platformer, years ago. The soundtrack immediately gets you in a good mood and is changed to fit the theme of whichever part of Clover Island you are currently in. In combining all these elements, the developers have, as far as I'm concerned, succeeded in delivering a fun and highly entertaining game. I would heartily recommend Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island to everyone who likes a good, solid platform game with colorful environments and quirky characters!