Can you believe this is an Xbox One console exclusive? Out of the truckload of games presented at this year’s Microsoft conference, Super Lucky’s Tale was one of the biggest surprises. No, it wasn’t because of its gameplay or technical aspects. It was a surprise purely because of its incredibly charming and kid-friendly nature. In a console crammed to the bone with militaristic titles and racing simulators, seeing a colorful platformer featuring a charismatic fox as a protagonist was definitely a sight for sore eyes. Despite having its fair share of flaws, I can safely say I’m satisfied with the end result.
Super Lucky’s Tale is a very traditional 3D platformer. Your main objective is to keep on collecting clovers in order to open more levels, but this isn’t a collectathon. Every level might have its own handful of clovers to collect, but they are also linear paths with a beginning and an end, just like, let’s say, the Mario games for the Wii U. Another weird comparison I can make is that A Bug’s Life game for the Nintendo 64. You had a little bit of freedom to explore the levels, finding a little secret every now and then, and having the opportunity to collect some treasure, but you need to reach the end of the level in order to proceed to the next one. There are also some puzzles scattered throughout the hub worlds which help diversify the gameplay a little bit.
The game looks and sounds decent enough for a typical platformer. Despite some simplified polygons here and there, as well as some occasionally underwhelming lighting and particle effects, I can’t deny the fact the world of Lucky’s Tale is very colorful and that the characters, especially Lucky himself, are adorable. Even the most menacing of enemies is cute enough for you to want to hug it until its eyeballs pop out of their sockets.
As you would expect, given the genre and target demographic, Super Lucky’s Tale‘s controls are simple and straightforward. Besides a digging mechanic (you’re a fox, duh), you have your typical 3D platformer controls: run, jump, double jump, a very basic attack, and your stomp is as dangerous to the game’s population as a nuke. Sadly, the game not only features the same control scheme from your typical Nintendo 64 3D platformer, but also features some of the same issues from that era. The first issue is the fact that Lucky is quite a slow character, and some of his moves are a bit sluggish, especially his tail swipe. The second and main issue is the camera. While not exactly terrible per se, the game doesn’t allow you to freely control the camera, only allowing you to move it in fixed angles, as if you were pressing the C-buttons on a Nintendo 64 controller. While the game is perfectly playable, it’s irritating to see some of those issues. We’ve come a long way since 1996 after all.
There’s nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary in Super Lucky’s Tale besides the shocking fact that this is an Xbox One console exclusive with actual colors. You’ve seen the gameplay a dozen times before, you know it’s not exactly very challenging, and so on. Despite all this, I won’t deny the fact it’s a competent game with nice visuals and a tremendous amount of charm, as well as the fact I had fun with it. Not everything needs to be a tremendous challenge or an overly serious title. Super Lucky’s Tale has its flaws but, above anything else, it’s a nice and laid back experience, a good change of pace, a nice game to play between a round of ultra-gory Gears of War 4 and some racing simulator rounds.
Also available on: PC