3D buddy platformers seem to be making a resurgence lately. Skylar & Plux may not be as famous as Yooka-Laylee but they seem like capable adventurers so let's see if their journey is one worth taking.
Skylar & Plux has you control a feline heroine named Skylar Lynxe who soon meets a goofball owl known as Plux Owlsley. They're on a journey to put an end to the evil CRT who's threatening their newfound humble paradise that they call home. It's a simple premise for a game yet I found it to be quite charming. Skylar is the strong silent type while Plux has plenty of silly one-liners that'll make you crack a smile. The fact that CRT actually communicates with you throughout the adventure adds a fun dynamic as he taunts you while you traverse the stages. The lovely slideshow cutscenes, bright environments, and well-done voice acting make it come across like a Saturday morning cartoon which will easily appeal to kids as well as adults who have a soft spot for nostalgia. In other words, Skylar & Plux is full of charm that manages to stay endearing for the entirety of the campaign.
The gameplay isn't far removed from a stereotypical 3D platform game where you run, jump, and attack. Speaking of attacks, Skylar can both punch and spin around which makes her look like a blue version of Crash Bandicoot. As you progress, you'll uncover three additional abilities that will help you solve puzzles, traverse platforming situations, and fight enemies. The Jetpack allows you to hover after jumping while the Magnetic Glove lets you pick up metallic objects and even launch missiles back at enemies. The most interesting gadget is the Time Orb. You can use it to manipulate time such as by slowing down rapidly-spinning platforms or viewing a part of the stage as it existed in the past. As you can tell, these mechanics add some welcome and rather satisfying variety to the campaign.
Another aspect of Skylar & Plux's campaign is rescuing the local population who are known as Lo'a. These poor little fellows are trapped in cages that conveniently unlock after you redeem 100 crystals. These crystals are scattered all over the place and they actually regenerate so gathering enough of them is no problem whatsoever. The challenge lies in actually finding the Lo'a who can be hidden in surprisingly tricky locations. Finding all of them can take quite a long time and could be a rewarding task for perfectionists.
Unfortunately, that's probably the most challenging thing you can do in Skylar & Plux. The whole campaign is incredibly easy. I breezed through the entirety of it in a couple of hours and only got snagged once as I was lost for a little while. I even beat the final boss on the first try without much difficulty at all. In the end, the fact that the entire experience is so short and easy is by far Skylar & Plux's biggest downside. Besides that, there are some odd glitches such as when characters talk over each other or repeat lines. You may also fall through parts of the terrain that look like they could be platforms. It's definitely not a very polished game.
Skylar & Plux is a charming and fun little game but it's so ridiculously short and easy that I can't imagine any 3D platformer fan could fully embrace it. Then again, what other game stars both a lynx and an owl?
- + Solid 3D platforming with a few additional mechanics that provide some variety
- + Overall charming world
- + Finding Lo'a adds replay value
- - Extremely short campaign that you can potentially beat in one sitting
- - Lacks a real sense of challenge
- - Plenty of odd glitches