Raskulls review: Having crash-landed their ship on the Raskulls' home planet, Captain J. Turncoat and his gang of evil Pirats set off in search of a new power source
- Fun puzzles, a unique twist on familiar gameplay types, plenty of text-based humour
- Time based levels may cause fits of cursing, most levels require multiple attempts to be beaten
Don't be misled by its adorable aesthetic and cutesy characters -- Halfbrick's Raskulls is a challenging puzzle-platformer that's more than worth a look at.
At first glance, Raskulls seems like the type of game your little brother or sister should be playing. It stars colorful, pint-sized characters that would look more at home in an episode of Muppet Babies than a video game. But don't let its adorable exterior fool you -- these skull-faced critters pack a touch of PG-13 sass, and beneath the game's cutesy façade is a hardcore puzzle-platformer with an old school feel that's sure to test your skills.
The story in Raskulls is both straightforward and ridiculous, a theme that is carried throughout the title. Having crash-landed their ship on the Raskulls' home planet, Captain J. Turncoat and his gang of evil Pirats (pirates that are also rats) set off in search of a new power source, and learn of two Shiny Stones that can do the trick. Plans to steal the stones are thwarted by the Raskulls, prompting a showdown that spans three chapters and sixty levels.
The tug of war for control of the two stones begins on a Super Mario World-inspired top-down map, where players can move from level to level and chapter to chapter. As they advance, players are presented with three different types of platform-based levels: races, puzzles, and timed events. While gameplay is linear, there is enough wiggle room to allow gamers to move forward using only two of the three different game types. This is a good thing, as the difficulty (and frustration) of each event varies greatly.
Races are the most common event. The objective is to beat one or more AI opponents to an unseen finish line. Using a wand, your Raskull creates a path for itself by breaking bricks and grabbing offensive and defensive power ups ala Mario Kart. Rounds are quick -- usually two minutes or less in length -- and require strategy and quick thumbs. Because of their brevity and the savvy AI opponents, races are generally close and exciting affairs.
Gamers can also race against the clock to complete levels in timed events. Unfortunately, these are not races with a countdown timer. Instead, gamers have to reach checkpoints in a certain amount of time as they go along a predetermined path. Many gamers are bound to find this game type frustrating; time constraints are rigid, almost punitive. After failing numerous times I was cursing like a sailor. I was frustrated by how little time I was given to complete levels and eventually ended up skipping many of the timed events I came across.
While the timed events are anger inducing, the puzzles are fantastic. The brick breaking/brick shaping puzzles in Raskulls play out like Tetris in reverse. Instead of making lines by joining shapes, players make new lines by destroying old ones and melding blocks together. The absence of a clock is a welcome reprieve, and it doesn't take anything away from the sense of accomplishment earned by completing the puzzle levels.
But there's more to Raskulls than enjoyable platforming and puzzles. Interesting characters, continuously progressive gameplay, and some of the funniest dialogue since Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People keep things fresh. Despite some flaws, Rakulls is the best kind of downloadable title -- a humorous game with elements from well-designed classics, but integrated with a modern touch.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
- Minecraft steps into virtual reality as Samsung Gear VR Edition appears in Oculus Store
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
- EVE Valkyrie's new Carrier Assault mode will fulfill your Millennium Falcon dreams
- Doom co-creator John Romero teases new PC shooter
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSr. Iteration ManagerVIC
- FTDatabase Administrator / ArchitectNSW
- CCWeb Content Developer- Angular, PHP, interface backgroundNSW
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- CCL3 - Network Design and Support EngineerNSW
- CCSystem AnalystNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- FTSupplier Relationship ManagerVIC
- FTChange Lead- DigitalVIC
- CCMid or Senior Developer - Mobile Applications - (iOS)NSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - master data managementACT
- FTDeveloper - OSB/BPELNSW
- CCSnr Technical System Engineer(IBM DB2/WebSphere)160419/STSE/vmtAsia
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Lotus Notes/Networking) 160504/AP/781Asia
- CCRemedy AdministratorNSW
- CCNV2 - System Administration / Application SupportACT
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCSharepoint DeveloperVIC
- CCSystems TrainerVIC
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT
- FTDigital Sales Manager - Online MediaNSW
- CCIT Solution Architect - ApplicationsNSW
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Report/HTML/SQL) 160428/P/244Asia
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW