Seeing all kinds of games releasing on the eShop each month you have a certain advantage as a developer if you’re game stands out with its looks among all the others. having an interesting art design or colourfull panels lures more people to your page and also increases the chance of selling more.Skellboy is one of such games, but is it actually good?
A magician with a heartache loved to raise dead monsters long ago – and overlooks the fact that he also lets a hero resurrect. While the royal guard throws their swords at his feet, it is naturally up to Skippy to free the world from the monsters once again. So much for the Skellboy story. This is not only a very funny idea, but also the story otherwise peppered with a bit of humor and a dash of self-irony: soldiers make fun of the fact that you never know which weapons are in the weapon racks.
This kind of “coincidence” also plays an important role for you and Skippy in Skellboy . Since Skippy, like the monsters, was raised from the dead, he can swap parts of his body at will. Head, body and lower parts can be freely put together. Just like with weapons, the selection is manageable overall: The game doesn’t just randomly drop items for you, but instead the game decides what you will be receiving next.
Unfortunately, Skellboy lacks overview in many places: Due to the optics and partly the camera settings, you usually have to equip things lying around to find out what it is. If there is more than one, it is often difficult to get a certain part. The equipped one is thrown away directly – to find out which properties a part has, you also have to open the menu. Important features (for example, if you leave a burning floor or bring a lot of armor with you) are displayed directly when you equip it.
At first, Skellboy gives the impression of a fairly accessible and funny game, but it quickly turns out to be a nasty game that you can bite your teeth in to. There is a lot of frustration within the first hour or two, but this is primarily due to the unpredictable behavior of the game – somehow, many elements of the first two hours contradict each other. I assume that this will increase the level of difficulty, but overall the Skellboy gaming experience is simply not really understandable and is unnecessarily frustrating.
The storage system primarily contributes to this: Skellboy only saves at storage points in the game world. There are many of them in the beginner area. But right in the first dungeon, the dungeon under the palace, there is only one save point right at the beginning. But: If you die, the game remembers all the progress made in the level, so that you can, for example, go straight to the final boss without being stopped. So if you die at the end boss, you can walk straight back and even have your equipment back.
Not so in the level afterwards, the barracks: Again, there is only one save point, the level is longer, more difficult and sometimes requires fiddly tasks. However, if you die here, you end up at the beginning of the level again, but the entire level is reset and everything starts all over again. Unfortunately, this level is sadly more frustrating then when you die in games as Dark Souls for example.
Skellboy also feels incredibly sluggish and is trimmed to old gaming methods, but the gameplay doesn’t really fit into the old school track or with Hack & Slays: the fights are too slow even with fast weapons. But Skellboy also has technical problems on the Nintendo Switch: The frame rate is only fluctuatingly stable and there are regular slowdowns, sometimes in places that you wouldn’t expect them to be there. We hope this will all be patched out in due time.
On the good side, the bosses and opponents are truly unique and make for some varied methods of fighting. Here Skellboy offers significantly more than many other of today’s genre representatives, where everything is done with a few taps. The boss fights are actually the ones that are a bit higher in terms of speed.
One of Skellboy’s big problems is that you can save yourself the fights if you want to save time and frustration: I started when I died too often in certain areas. Since the opponents themselves usually don’t drop anything groundbreaking and don’t run after you, you can skip many fights simply by running past them. Too often there is only health where you don’t need it, but not when you really need it.
The gameplay is loosened up by skill deposits, which are mostly fun despite the not very precise controls. In the later course of the game, the areas become a little more open, the game is then a bit fairer and there are a few side quests – even despite the soundtrack, which belongs more in the moderate retro category than in the modern one, Skellboy can really spark pleasant moments. The difficulty, however, is that many players will probably not even make it there – I found the first two or three hours really frustrating and rather opaque due to the incomprehensible storage system. If you survive that, you will be rewarded not least by a pretty game world with variety – but sadly the first impression often counts.
I am sure that there are players who enjoy Skellboy : To do this, you definitely have to like old-fashioned and sometimes slow games. Skellboy has pleasant moments, great and varied, if frustrating boss fights, a nice game world, a good pinch of humor and a funny story. However, the gaming experience is plagued by sluggishness, technical problems such as stutters and a lot of frustration, especially at the start of the game, primarily due to the incomprehensible storage system. In addition, Skellboy lacks an overview, so that the actually innovative system with the interchangeable body parts can develop its full potential. For me, Skellboy was sadly a bit dissapointing. But with some updates it could become a very nice game!
Skellboy has both a very slow start and an old-fashioned storage system. But plow through it and you’ll find a pleasant game with enough variety to give a good time.