Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a boulder rolls into a barn… and a house… and through some massive stone walls, and all the way into a castle and makes a tiny person go squish. If this sounds remotely familiar to you, then you’ve probably played Rock of Ages and/or Rock of Ages 2. They’re fun games! When the first one debuted back in 2011, it was a fairly novel spin on the tower defense (and offense) genre, and it made its mark with a unique sense of humor and presentation that felt like a breath of fresh air. Now, nine years and two sequels later, even though there’s still fun to be had in rolling giant boulders down obstacle courses, the formula is feeling less original and more in need of evolution.
Skully from developer Finish Line Games and publisher Modus Games is a 3D puzzle platformer where you traverse open spaces to solve problems, combat enemies, and find a number collectibles that rivals Banjo-Kazooie. It harkens back to a specific era that many will find nostalgic. Skully has a lot of fun with itself, but also has its serious moments that keep it down to earth. There were times I was exasperated either due to imprecise platforming or when the game’s locomotion was interrupted, but Skully will bowl you over with its charm. In the words of the immortal Fred Durst, “Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’”.