Super Lucky’s Tale is a surprise. It’s not going to be a revolutionary game, or the like, but it’s a surprisingly solid little platformer that pays tribute to the games that companies like Rare and Nintendo built their illustrious reputation on. It’s not without its issues though, suffering from a feeling of being woefully generic but it could potentially have your attention from beginning to end. For me, it did.
Super Lucky’s Tale is basically a bit of a love letter to platforming games of yore. In it, you’ll follow Lucky as he travels four distinct worlds collecting clovers – a total of 99 of them – and they’re hidden throughout levels that draw inspiration from platforming games you’ve probably played. If I had to describe it succinctly, I’d call Super Lucky’s Tale something like Banjo-Kazooie Lite. It has the same idea, the same concept behind it; but it feels significantly smaller. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it feels more manageable and approachable, but it lacks the epic scale of games like Banjo-Kazooie.What I did appreciate about Super Lucky’s Tale is how there is a variety of ways to earn clovers, they’re not just strewn throughout every level. Each level has four clovers that can be found – some tied to collecting coins, some to collecting the letters L-U-C-K-Y, some are hidden like secret rooms from Donkey Kong and one is always awarded for finishing the level. Outside of the levels themselves, there are puzzles that can get surprisingly hard for game of this ilk, that’ll also award Lucky with a clover or two.
Variety is the name of the game with Super Lucky’s Tale, and it’s what stops it from being a complete disaster. You’ll spend your time jumping and burrowing through several different types of levels. More free roam levels feel like something from games like Super Mario 3D World – you can explore as far as you want but they’re just floating 3D cross-sections rather than large sprawling worlds. Surprisingly, there’s also some side scrolling levels included too, and while these take very liberally from games like Donkey Kong Country, they’re a fun way to break up the action.What keeps Super Lucky’s Tale fresh from level to level is that each one is built around gimmick of some sort. One level has you carrying a lantern as it illuminates ghostly floating platforms, another has you navigating sinking platforms. They’re simple gimmicks, but not constantly relying on the same ones for every level ensures that the game never quite wears out it’s welcome or feels repetitious.