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9.30.2016

Skeletomb: Review

     Punk Labs' Skeletomb is an odd combination of an endless runner with rogue-like gaming and is packaged as a platforming dungeon crawler.  The game isn't truly an endless runner, but makes use of the elements found in them, and breaks it down into sets of randomly generated levels.  The player simply has to move in a specific direction to the end of a level.  Of course, along the way there's moving platforms, enemies to slay, and even some traps to encounter all in the span of a few life hearts.  Nothing too strenuous or difficult.


     This game actually caught my eye due to the strange and bright blocky designs of the characters and enemies.  You can play as a kind of wizard, a barbarian, a jester, and even funny Jack-in-the-Box character.  Though, nearly all of the 30-some playable characters are merely palette-swapped versions of each other, so the limitations begin to show as you unlock more playable characters.
     The core game is Adventure Mode.  Players collect and spend in-game coins to help either unlock those other playable characters or gain higher scores for the leaderboards.  There's an alternative Endless Mode made strictly for chasing leaderboard high scores if that is your thing.  The only difference I noticed between modes was that it Endless wasn't broken into levels.
     In addition there's a small achievements list with some humorous trophies to obtain that made me laugh.  I won't spoil any of them for you though, you'll have to discover them yourself.

     The music is great as well.  It hearkens back to the old days of Nintendo action games.  It's very upbeat and fun and adds a layer of nostalgia to the game.

     The only real problem with Skeletomb is the controls.  The swipes and taps to change direction, jump, or even attack are consistently imprecise and cause a lot of unnecessary deaths lending to some irritation.  I mean seriously, having the attack input be the same as the one for move forward is never a good idea.  These issues are somewhat offset by the options menu allowing for some changes, but they are barely fixed and no matter what you change them to, they remain relatively poor in touch response.  As this is rogue-like game the deaths aren't too much of a set back, just a bit of frustration.

     Skeletomb is a great waste of a lunch break.  There's a simple charm to the the game that'll keep your attention for exactly as long as you might expect out of a casual free-to-play because there really isn't a whole lot of depth here.  I don't believe it'd keep people entertained for a whole lot of time due to it's mindless action, but in small doses it does its job quite well.
   
     Skeletomb is free to play on [ Android ] & [ iOS ]

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