Lacking meat on its bones, Skelattack has disjointed pieces and parts that add up to create an awkward, though heartwarming, side-scrolling platformer. You can see snippets of a precise platformer in Skelattack, but they are too sporadic and underutilized to really make you sweat. In a game centered on a human invasion of the afterlife, there sure aren’t very many enemies, and most of them remain in place or move like molasses, emulating the dead far more than the warm-blooded humans they’re supposed to be. Skelattack’s identity crisis is further fueled by its far too brief length, which prevents any of its solid ideas from coming into their own.
Starring a chipper skeleton named Skully and his lovable bat-pal Imber, Skelattack tells the story of a peculiarly joyous world of the dead, dubbed Aftervale, that’s suddenly invaded by the wretched humans who seek immortality.
Developed by Ukuza, Skelattack is the debut title in Konami’s new push to publish games made by Western studios. And while your mind likely jumps to Castlevania when you think Konami, Skelattack doesn’t evoke the labyrinthine design of the publisher’s influential franchise. Instead, what you get is a linear world with few instances where you’re able to go off the beaten path to uncover hidden chests with upgrades or currency. The world is separated into a handful of different areas, each with its own obstacles to pass and enemies to either avoid or eliminate. All of them wind up feeling rather similar in practice, since Skelattack doesn’t really build on its mechanics over time.