[Quick Look] Fox Tales: The Skeleton King
Developers rarely switch sides, but they do expand their work on other platforms occasionally in an attempt to reach wider population of mobile gamers. “Won-O-Soft” did exactly that by publishing their latest stealth adventure game “Fox Tales: The Skeleton King” on the Play Store, starring Kizu the fox.
Kizu is a compassionate and caring adorable young fox with heroic tendencies, eager to bring justice in the world he lives in. He especially has a soft spot for rescuing damsels in distress and proving his abilities in dark dungeons filled with skeleton heads that are up to no good. Armed with nothing more than his intellect, he begins his journey to defeat the Skeleton King and get the lady (hopefully).
As soon as you enter the dungeon, you quickly realize that this is not your ordinary run & gun game. The goal here is to sneak behind enemies and bring them down, or to completely avoid contact and sneak thru undetected while watching your step by dodging the various deadly obstacles moving around. You have 3 primary objectives. Find the golden key, stay alive and find the exit door leading further down into the dungeon. You will also have to collect all the diamonds along the way that act as a sort of currency that you can spend on various ability upgrades or to buy more lives. Keep an eye out for secret passages as they often provide more diamonds, shortcuts and safe spots where you can hide from the enemies chasing you.
You can play the game on 2 difficulty levels. The first one allows you to run around the map freely without much to worry about as you can easily outrun all the enemies without breaking a sweat. The second mode will turn on the stamina system that you will have to pay close attention to because it keeps going down as long as you run. If you manage to dry it all the way, Kizu stops out of exhaustion to take a breath, leaving him vulnerable to enemy attacks. Standing still recharges the bar and you will have to plan ahead and consider every action you take in order to survive. Luckily, you can tap the heart and use one of your remaining lives to fully recharge the bar instantly, or continue from the same spot if you happen to die. A sight for sore eyes is the star power-up that you can find by exploring the dungeon that grants you the Über god-mode for a brief period of time.
Fox Tales: The Skeleton King utilizes the Unity 3D engine and the developer made a decent effort to make the game pleasant to watch. Everything is 3D rendered and runs smoothly on mid-range devices without hick-ups or hideous slowdowns. Some minor graphical glitches are present on low-res screen devices (qvga, wvga) where all the text from the menu remains huge and hard to read when shopping and upgrading your abilities in the store, but hopefully the developer will patch-it–up soon.
The on-screen controls are responsive and won’t cause you any trouble, but you can’t move, re-arrange or even mirror the elements (sorry lefties). Kizu will follow your finger orders without lagging behind or taking unpredictable detours.
So what does the fox say?
Fox Tales: The Skeleton King offers 10 out of 30 levels free of charge. Once you finish playing Act 1, you can unlock Act 2 and 3 for $1 by visiting the in-app store where you can also purchase additional diamonds if you ever need them. The game also features non-obstructive ads appearing in the main menu and right after you die, but never during the actual gameplay. Plenty of content is waiting for you and assuming you provide access to your Google account, achievements and leaderboards as well. If you feel like playing something different and giving your trigger happy thumbs a well deserved rest, go ahead and download the game – you won’t be disappointed.
by Sasha Moore
UPDATE: Removed from Google Play. Download Fox Tales: The Skeleton King APK here.