Skully Review – Feet Of Clay

It’s hard to make a platformer stand out in 2020. Skully, a 3D platformer about a reanimated rolling skull imbued with magic clay that can create and control mud golems, can’t shake the baggage of its genre’s history. Though it has some distinctive details–like a surprisingly cute, bouncing skull-ball for a protagonist–Skully’s mild platforming, item collecting, and puzzle-solving often elicits the feeling that you’re just going through the motions. While it isn’t without charm or challenge, there isn’t enough of it to make a profound impression.

Skully the bouncing skull-ball is actually an elemental avatar created by the earth deity of an isolated island. In his natural form, Skully is a small, quick ball that can roll and hop across forest streams, wind-swept mountains, and lava-filled caves. There’s a satisfying kinetic feeling to rolling down a path and picking up speed, which makes gracefully jumping through platforming challenges feel good.

Skully isn’t always rolling, though. He also has the power to use pools of mud to create humanoid golems that trade speed for additional abilities. Each of the three golem forms has two skills, most of which are used in very specific ways to get past obstacles Skully can’t. For example, the big golem has a punch that can be used to break through walls and a steam attack that can temporarily dispel some enemies.

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