Puzzle games are designed to be both taxing and relaxing at the same time. 2xMilk’s low-poly puzzler Skipper certainly toes that line – the question is, does it provide a rewarding experience?
The goal of Skipper is simple – get every cube to the end of each stage. However, like most things in life, the devil is in the details. The first few levels are straightforward affairs that have you guiding one cube to the end, but one cube quickly turns into multiple in due time. Using a grid format, each cube makes a colored trail as it travels, and there is no backtracking on the same colored trail. Paired with special mini cubes that can be picked up to make certain squares passable, switches that trip pillars, and other elements, and what seems simple quickly becomes far more complex. Put simply, it’s got a steep learning curve
This is where the challenge lies – more often than not, there is a very specific way to complete each level, and it is easy to force yourself into an unwinnable situation. Rather, the key to victory is found in trial and error…and a healthy dose of patience. It can be easy to get frustrated at the game, and the correct solution may require a number of obtuse paths for each cube. However, finishing a level is a great feeling, and the relaxing music and beach-like aesthetics help to put your mind at ease. It’s not the most high-tech experience out there (it’s also on mobile platforms, after all), but it gets the job done quite well and stands out enough without feeling generic.
Those looking to get the most out of Skipper will be surprised to see how short it is. We are admittedly not the most cerebral gamers out there (we had to restart puzzles a number of times), but we were able to finish up the entirety of the levels in just a few hours. In addition, there is not much replayability for those looking in the long term. A level editor, or even a timed element with leaderboards, would have gone a long way, though the developers have added additional puzzle packs to the game since its launch.
Skipper can be a frustrating game, but it can also be a rewarding one. It does not have the replayability of some of the genre’s greats, but what is here is worth the asking price.