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!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- CCService Designer (CX)NSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!SA
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- FTERP Data Migration Consultant - Software Company - Permanent - SydneyNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Infrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)NSW