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 PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Hands-on: Middle Earth: Shadow of War gets more creative with Tolkien's universe
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire shows off old friends and a mysterious new world
- E3 2017 day 2 wrap-up: Destiny 2 on PC, Wolfenstein returns, and Ubisoft games galore
- Xbox One X vs PlayStation 4 Pro: The console wars level up with powerful new hardware
- E3 2017 day one wrap-up: Call of Duty WWII, Intel's wireless VR, and crushing crowds
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTProject CoordinatorSA
- FTNetwork Security EngineerOther
- FTDevOps Lead / Identity Services Security LeadOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - BI, Analytics and Data modellingOther
- FTAgile Project Manager x 2NSW
- FTAgile Test LeadOther
- FTSenior Recruitment Specialist |Other
- TPAnalyst ProgrammerSA
- FTSoftware Asset Management Co-ordinatorOther
- FTSAP ETL DeveloperOther
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- FTPrincipal ArchitectACT
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- FTLead Enterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTTech Lead - FinTech - Product DevelopmentOther
- FTPresales Solution Architect - NetworksNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA
- FTService Desk AnalystACT
- FTOnsite Helpdesk TechnicianOther
- FTSenior Full Stack Web DeveloperOther
- FTCX Lead/Customer experience/Customer marketingOther
- FTIT Program SchedulerOther
- TPStakeholder Engagement Specialist - Change Manager - HealthQLD
- FTSolutions ArchitectWA
- CCTechnical Support - L2ACT