Game Review #469: New Super Lucky’s Tale (Nintendo Switch)
  • Allan Jenks

Game Review #469: New Super Lucky’s Tale (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Akio Kahoshi

Developer: Playful Studios

Publisher: Playful Studios

Category: Action, Adventure, Platformer

Release Date: 11.8.2019

Price: $39.99


Trailer


Buy New Super Lucky’s Tale from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


Super Lucky’s Tale, But Newer

A port of the Xbox game, Super Lucky’s Tale, New Super Lucky’s Tale is endearing right from the start with its beautifully drawn opening CGs. Here we are told a brief history of the conflict that is the backbone of Super Lucky’s Tale’s story. Even at the start of the game, the very first NPC encountered, Greg the Mailgolem, is delightful. There is no part of this game that does not ooze charm, which is not an easy feat. The characters especially are loveable, even the game’s villains, the dreaded Kitty Litter. Did I mention this game is also full of the best kind of terrible puns?



New Super Lucky’s Tale is a 3-D platformer that involves traveling across the game’s five (plus a sixth post-game) hub worlds to play levels, solve puzzles, and collect pages of the Book of Ages. As not every page is required to fight a world’s boss, the core game can be completed in as little as six to eight hours. However, I found this to be a rare game where collecting everything was a delight. I never became frustrated or needed a guide. Adding on the time spent collecting everything in the game and completing all of the post-game challenges will easily add another few hours to the game, unlocking all of the various outfits in the process. I found the length to be spot on, giving me enough to be satisfied without growing bored with the challenges presented.


Guardian on the Go

Both in handheld and docked, the game ran and looked great, though I did occasionally encounter momentary frame drops. They did not significantly affect my gameplay though. Load times felt a bit long at times, but given the size of some of the worlds, they were not entirely surprising. The controls were sharp in both modes, with Lucky always going exactly where I directed him. Unfortunately for me, that was occasionally off a cliff. Having said that, the game is not, even at its hardest, controller-throwing difficult. I found that to be to the game’s benefit, as both younger gamers new to the genre and veterans can enjoy it.



The main story should be completable by almost anyone, and then the post-game challenges amp up the difficulty for those who want it. It was a good thing I spent most of the game saving up lives, because I went through quite a few tackling these challenges. It was definitely worth it though.


A Jump and a Skip

The game’s levels can be broken up into three types: 3-D, 2-D, and auto-runner. Each of the level types bring their own strengths to the forefront and are spread out in a way to prevent fatigue. As the 3-D levels can be quite lengthy, the shorter 2-D levels are a welcome break when they come. Every level was fun in its own right, and they all presented a superb, handcrafted feel.



All the levels have four Clover Pages within them: one for beating the level, one for collecting 300 coins, one for finding the five letters that make up Lucky, and then a fourth hidden page. While this standard setup might seem predictable at first, it gives each level a direction the player can understand, even as the different levels throw in completely new ideas and setups; and knowing what is required of the player means that, for the most part, every level can be completed on the first try, with the exception of the auto-runner levels, as they do not allow backtracking. As someone that dislikes replaying levels over and over, I appreciated this. As long as I stopped to explore and look for anything that appeared out of place, I could find all of the hidden items.



Crafty as Fox

Besides the platforming levels, the game also provides two different types of puzzles. The status puzzles slowly ramped up in difficulty throughout the game, but they never got so tough that I became frustrated with them. The premise is always the same: push the status across the playing field and try to get the Lucky status onto the green, powered spots. While the platforming levels test a player’s ability to control the character well, the puzzles require stopping and thinking instead. They are completely optional to completing the game, but they are another way the game changes its pace well.



The other puzzles presented are marble mazes, and these require a lot finer control. Lucky is shrunken down to the size of a marble, and the player must tilt the table to roll him around and collect coins. Slow, careful movement is the secret to success, less Lucky be rolled off the table. Unlike the status puzzles, it is possible to die in the marble mazes. While usually it was due to my own mistake, more than once it was because I tilted the board while Lucky was being launched. As it takes physics and three dimensions into account, this caused Lucky to bounce off the maze board and into oblivion. Once I made sure not to tilt the board during these parts, I no longer had issues. Thankfully, there are not many of these puzzles in the main story, with the majority of them being relegated to the post-game challenges.



Tale’s End, For Now

As a whole, New Super Lucky’s Tale shows a level of polish that is rare from an indie 3-D platformer. This is a rare game that I enjoyed the entire time I was playing, even when I was dying repeatedly during the challenge missions. Any fan of 3-D or 2-D platformers and hub worlds should definitely check this title out. I cannot wait to see what Playful brings us next!


Score: 9.5/10


Buy New Super Lucky’s Tale from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


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*A game code was provided for review purposes


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