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 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft's Phantom Dust remaster brings the cult Xbox classic to PCs, for free
- This year's Steam Summer Sale dates have already leaked
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTApplication PackagerSA
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- CCIT Systems Specialist- Database l Bathurst LocationNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTPMO CoordinatorVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- TPPrincipal Portfolio Officer - One Month Contract - DSITIQLD
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTiOS DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Solution AnalystVIC
- FTDeputy Chief Engineer - Defence Systems - IT Services - Nowra BasedNSW
- FTSupport OfficerSA
- FTSenior Business Development Manager| SMSF/Accounting SoftwareNSW
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelVIC
- FTLead ArchitectVIC
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW