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Game Review

I remember the early Sonic the Hedgehog games—those that my son cut his gaming teeth on—quite fondly. You don't see that type of fun-and-innocent platforming fare very often these days. But when someone recently suggested that we cast a reviewing eye on Microsoft Studios Super Lucky's Tale, it had me harkening back to those run, jump and spin button-crunching memories.

In fact, even though this game's hero, Lucky, is a youthful, cape-wearing fox, he even sorta looks like a three-dimensional version of that other iconic speedster. Though, frankly, Lucky's storyline feels simpler and geared toward an even younger set.

Tag, You're It!

Lucky's older sister, Lyra, was always thought to be their family's true adventurer. Lucky, for his part, was more of the do-a-little-fishin'-down-at-the-pond sort. But when Lyra comes crashing back from a recent expedition with a mysterious Book of Ages clutched in her mitts, well, things change.

That fantastic book is said to be a key of sorts that can rewrite history and open doors to strange new worlds. And that's exactly what it does. As a nefarious gang of felines, called the Kitty Litter, pop up and try to snatch away the book from Lyra, Lucky runs up to help. Then he and the Kitty Litter are all magically sucked into the book's pages!

Lyra finds herself stuck on the outside. The only thing she can do is wait and hope that her young sibling can somehow make his way through obstacle-strewn lands, best the Litter and their big boss, and find his way back out of the tome's magical pages.

Gameplay-wise, things are even more straightforward than that simple setup. Each of the book's lands/levels is ruled by one of the Kitty Litter's furry henchmen: There's a Mew-Shu arts advocate named Master Mittens, a machine-loving bespectacled kitten named Tess the Tinkerer, etc. Lucky must overcome timed challenges; navigate fire, laser and spike dangers; move objects to solve physical puzzles; make it through huge movable mazes; and generally leap, spin, bop and burrow his way along.

Cantankerous Kitties?

There are boss battles here. But they're not the slash-with-a-blade or grab-a-gun type. Lucky generally avoids fireballs and the like before smacking something with his tail, which is sent spinning toward his foe. Along the way, the foxy hero collects coins, gems and letters of his name. And challenge-ending four-leaf-clover collectables help him pass through magically barred doors.

It's all pretty cute and harmless. For all of the game's gigantic robots, threatening golems or various cantankerous kitties, there's nothing really scary, foul or messy for kids to encounter. Even most of the villains have at least a semi-smiling countenance.

The "worst" language we ever hear is someone yelling "Oi!" And the worst character is the final big boss, Jinx—something of a giant wizard type of cat with glowing eyes and the ability to magically move land masses around or catch Lucky with a spell-like power zap. And when he's bested, he goes out in a gush of … confetti.

The fact is, other than some of those mildy magicky elements, the biggest criticisms most will have about Super Lucky's Tale is the fact that it's almost too cartoony and kid-focused. This isn't a title that will have gamers scratching their chins and wondering how things will turn out. But in light of today's litany of bloody shooters and dark, nasty survival horror games, a fun, kid-focused platforming adventure is kinda super, Lucky. So, thanks!

Positive Elements

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Record Label


Xbox One, PC


Microsoft Studios


November 7, 2017

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

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