On Your Marks
It is hard to imagine how anything with a skull as a face can really be that cute, or even likeable for that matter. Not to say that this is impossible as Halfbrick Studios’ latest creation quickly proves. The eponymous race in the game Raskulls are pretty much summed up by the two words that make up the portmanteau. They are rascals and have skulls as faces; I think that pretty much clears that up.
Beyond the obvious, Raskulls is a party oriented game that is aiming to be great fun for everyone. In fact it is quite fair to say that this is a family party game. But do not frown because this is a game that can meet at least some of your requirements as well dear Hardcore Gamer.
Boosting The Experience
Raskulls is essentially an on-foot side-scrolling racing game that blends action and platforming into several hyper-competitive levels. Each race challenges four competitors who are tasked to get from the start to the chequered flag before the other racers. Each player has a wand that they must use to zap the coloured blocks that obstruct the level so they can get through. Imagine Tetris on crack! Once they are zapped the blocks leave behind ‘Boosties’ that can be collected in order to fill the Frenzy Bar. This process can be sped up by collecting the Boostie Jars scattered around the levels as well as by entering Boostie Zones. Upon entering Frenzy Mode the player gains a speed boost for the amount of time they have Boosties in their Frenzy Bar. There are also a number of presents for players to scrap for that give the racer a random power up. The power ups are quite ranged from a Mega Zap that stuns the other Raskulls, to Ghosty that grants you invisibility. The most obvious comparison to this kind of gameplay is Mario Kart, both in style and the enjoyment that can be had.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of the racing is that it manages to remain competitive throughout an entire level. What I mean by this is that being the leader is not always the most ideal thing at times. The reason is simply because as the leader you will be the one who has to zap the most blocks to get through. Saying this at times you can also zap blocks that cause other blocks to fall on the stragglers to slow them down further. This aspect ensures that one person does not always get a huge advantage at any stage and so each race is a frantic struggle at all times for all players. A race is only decided at the very end when you have touched the chequered flag, and not anytime before.
Great competitive and casual fun that is spread over single and multiplayer game modes. Ideal as a family party game as well as entering serious competition with friends.
You are going to need an Internet connection or friends to fully enjoy the fun that can be had. Slight lack of variety in multiplayer modes.