New Super Lucky’s Tale Review: A Plucky Pastiche of 3D Platforming

Super Lucky’s Tale is a 3D Platformer originaly developed by Playful Studios and published by Microsoft for the Xbox and PC in November 2017. An expanded version called New Super Lucky’s Tale was developed and published by Playful Studios and released in November 2019 for the Nintendo Switch and August 2020 for the Xbox, PC, and PS4. MSRB is $30. I played the Switch version.

This year I have played many games outside of my comfort zone. I haven’t posted about most of them yet, but I’ve been going through several dark and epic stories like Halo: Master Chief Collection, Doom, and The Witcher III. It’s good for me to grow and become a more well-rounded critic, but I’m also not quite used to these grim Mature games yet.

These sandbox levels satisfy every part of what I love about Platformers.

So booting up New Super Lucky’s Tale made me as happy as a hobbit returning to the comforts of The Shire. This game was exactly what I wanted: a cute 3D Platformer with an animal mascot and a goofy cast of supporting characters. Want a world populated by hillbilly worms? Yes, please. Want to defeat an army of weird cat villains? Of course! Want to collect the letters of your name as you stomp on stinky garlic heads? Say no more!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I disliked the Mature games that I’ve been playing recently, it’s just that sometimes you need to take a bath in something you’re more familiar with. And for me, that comfort involves grabbing floating trinkets on a farm while avoiding boulder-sized chicken eggs, and other such nonsense.

This hubworld full of portals may remind you of a certain purple dragon.

Much like A Hat in Time, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a Stone Soup with many ingredients from classic Platformers. You roam around a series of hub words like in Spyro the Dragon, collect letters of your name like in Donkey Kong Country, and use a spin attack like in Crash Bandicoot. In fact, there’s not very much New Super Lucky’s Tale says that other games haven’t already said before.

The burrowing mechanic is the big gameplay gimmick, and it works quite well!

However, what New Super Lucky’s Tale lacks for in originality it makes up for in execution. The art direction is charming, the soundtrack is catchy, and Lucky controls well with a tight yet bouncy moveset. His most unique move is that he can “dive” into the ground and burrow in the dirt. The game actually designs many challenges around popping in and out of the dirt, and it feels good to pull off. Lucky cheers and whoops every time he jumps, not unlike Mario, which never fails to make me smile.

Don’t sleep on the autorunner levels — they’re quite well designed!

The game actually swaps between Platforming styles quite a bit. Some levels are large sandboxes while other levels are 2D autorunners. Every level has a few secrets to find and all are cleverly placed. Like most good platformers, you only need to collect a few trinkets to progress the story, meaning I could spend extra time completing the levels that I liked, such as the bright carnival-themed level, without feeling guilty that I skipped the annoying statue puzzles.

Yes that is a worm country band about to give a concert.

Overall, New Super Lucky’s Tale doesn’t do much to stand out from all the other outstanding 3D Platformers on the Nintendo Switch, but honestly… I don’t need it to. It hits all the right comfort spots, and that’s all I needed it to do. If you have a nostalgic itch for fluid movement and trinket-hoarding like me, then you’d probably like New Super Lucky’s Tale as well.

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