In what is the only local multiplayer skeleton brawler on the market (please correct us if we’re wrong), Sokpop Collective’s skelets tasks players with finding gems and blasting bones. Does this free for all provide a scary good time, or is this title frightfully bad?
A single-screen action title, the goal of skelets is simple – grab all the gems before your opponents do. Armed with a trusty pickaxe, players must dig their way through pits, islands, crypts, pyramids, and castles in an attempt to grab these various shinies. Everything is confined to one screen, with all gems and vantage points in one easy to see spot.
However, the competition is fierce and the landscape is rough. Each character has a health bar to be mindful of, one that can be chipped away with the aforementioned pickaxe. However, that’s not the only tool at your disposal; buried within the rubble are a number of weapons that can be used to settle the score. A skeleton with a shotgun or bazooka might sound like a silly concept, but the end result is anything but. Take down an enemy, and they’ll be able to respawn after a set time in one of the nearby caskets.
Unfortunately, despite the outlandish premise, skelets’ execution is somewhat lackluster. It starts with the overall match length – most bouts are over before they even begin, with players collecting all gems in around a minute’s time on average. Digging around for gems feels somewhat awkward too, something that would be more at home in QWOP than a competitive brawler. When paired with the bone-headed AI that likes to jump in place and do nothing, it makes for a mediocre package. Though this title was most certainly designed for short bursts, there is no strategy, depth, or balancing to speak of. Rather, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a truly casual title.
Completing each level in its single player mode unlocks the next one in succession and an achievement to go along with it. As a result, those who are semi-skilled can fly through this game solo in around 15 minutes, with many players having the same type of experience between them.
For those who’d rather bring a friend along, a versus mode is also available. The same maps can be chosen, and though there are not a lot of variables to adjust, the inclusion is still welcome nonetheless. There are also achievements for playing a set amount of times, though there is nothing else to unlock beyond that.
The bite-sized action of skelets is good for a brief visit, but the lack of variety kills its chances for any sort of long term appeal. Skeletons with shotguns is the stuff dreams are made of, but the end product is far less interesting.
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