Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a 3D platformer that features classic gameplay and gadgets with a lighthearted story. Is Skylar & Plux an adventure worth going on? Read our review below…
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is very similar in style to other 3D platform games such as Banjo-Kazooie and the more recent Yooka-Laylee, with colourful levels to explore and a fair amount of platforming and gems to collect too. The two main characters are brought together by chance to defeat the evil computer robot called CRT who is trying to take over Clover Island and ultimately destroy it and everything in it, including its inhabitants the Lo’a. It is your job as Skylar, with the assistance of Plux to make sure that doesn’t happen and you are set on your way to bring down the evil plan of CRT.
If you thought you’d seen this kind of thing before, you’d be right as Skylar & Plux is a game that platform enthusiasts will no doubt feel right at home with. The story isn’t very original and the characters are a bit of an odd mix but there is a certain amount of charm to this game despite its generic, familiar feel. There is a mixture of collecting, jumping, puzzle solving and a lengthy side quest scenario of trying to free the captured Lo’a from their cages along the way in what is a relatively short campaign. There are 5 sections to complete with the last one being the main boss level which you get to after completing the other areas on the island. Each area consists of fighting CRT’s mini creations and utilising Skylar’s abilities to get through the platforming sections that ultimately get more difficult as you progress through. Amongst the abilities that you obtain throughout the campaign consist of a Magnetic Glove, the Jet Pack and a Time Orb and all of these contribute to getting passed many challenges throughout the levels where you may only have to use one or sometimes all of them combined. I did however find it difficult to understand why Plux was part of the set up as he doesn’t really do much or add anything to the game other than giving the odd clue about a puzzle.
The gameplay isn’t too bad although it is very generic with not much originality at all to it and although it plays okay, it is far from perfect. The camera can get very frustrating and I had to adjust the settings and sensitivity of it a fair few times before I settled with a middle ground I was happy with. The jumping worked well for the most part once the camera was set but other aspects of the gameplay felt dull and very limited to a certain degree. There are three combat moves consisting of a jump slam attack, a punch and a spinning attack which all had their uses every now and again but there was never a challenge in battling enemies at all, even on the more difficult and overrun sections full of enemies. The later levels also adopted more of a puzzle styled theme but even they left me a little underwhelmed and I constantly had a yearning for so much more from this game. The gameplay as a whole isn’t too bad at all it’s just not very fulfilling and gets rather repetitive the more I played with very little challenge to it.
Visually Skylar & Plux doesn’t look too bad, it’s colourful, bright and has a look to it that could be compared to games of a similar style by Rare. There are some sections within the game that looked polished but there were a few areas that didn’t look very detailed at all and almost had an overly soft look to them, but the scenery on the first island is where this game looks it’s best and the other areas fail to capture that bright vibrant look and they tended to look a little dreary in comparison. The characters themselves are fairly detailed but just like some of the scenic areas, there was a soft fuzzy look them too, almost like they had been supersampled up from a lower resolution but after a while I adjusted to it and barely noticed it. Throughout my playthrough of the campaign, I noticed some frame rate dips too and there were times that it hindered some of the platforming sections, which left me a little disappointed and surprised as there wasn’t much happening on screen on the few occasions it happened. The sound though is great, with some cheesy cliched voice acting, which has to be said is intended that way and a lovely musical score to go with it too that just fits this style of game perfectly.
Skylar & Plux is trying really hard to be of the same quality of the many games it has taken its influence from but it never quite gets there which is a shame. It just doesn’t have that polish to it that other titles in its category have and it really left me wanting for more after the very short campaign which lasted just under 4 hours. It has to be said as well that the game doesn’t allow you to keep playing after the final boss, so if you want to try and find the remaining captured Lo’a that you may have missed on your way through, you’ll have to reload the save just before the fight with CRT to do so, which is a little disappointing. There is so much I wanted to love about this game but there were only a handful of things that I liked about it. It isn’t a bad game at all it just could of been so much better, and had the potential to be better too. There is a fairly low price point to it, but even for that I certainly expected more from it. There isn’t really much to go back for upon completion unless you want to rescue every single Lo’a from their cages but apart from that there isn’t anything other than going through the campaign again on a new save file.