Skullduggery is a fast-paced puzzle game using the advantages of iOS games to help itself rather than work against it. You play it by stretching the brain of a skull in order to propel it around. Think how you stretch the catapult in angry birds, but with more squishy flesh instead. You do so to collect money and defeat enemies, navigate labyrinths while a wall moves to crush you and collect power-ups in order to defeat bosses and get all the objectives in a level.

I like the basic gameplay, altough it is a bit hectic for a puzzle game, you have to be precise sometimes, especially when you are pressed for time by a huge crusher wall behind you and you need to do a specific string of actions in order to get a treasure chest. You also need to be sneaky and precise to defeat some enemies - skeletons - that will attack you on-sight if you don't creep on them properly. There's no way around it, no brute-force attack on your foes in Skullduggery, they will shoot and hit you even if you think you can just attack again. The bosses also require specific patterns of movement, but that's why this is a puzzle game.

In order to get all the stamps and the loot in each level, you might need to do them multiple times and that's fine - even though I don't think the game checkpoints often enough - the loot is hidden in chests and the conditions to get stamps are different in each level. Sometimes it's about finishing the level quick enough, other times it's about killing X skeletons or not being hit. About that, three hits and you're dead - except if you find brains by head-shotting enemies, that is. 

My biggest issue with the game is how there is almost no point to the loot and stamps, you can unlock 'different' characters that don't seem to have any special abilities to differentiate them from each other, and that seems to be it. Why not tie these things to something you're working towards by collecting all that money? Other characters should have different stats, more lives, more speed, things like that. That would make it worthwhile to take time and get everything in each level - because as it was, I just went through them and moved on without caring much about my score.

AuthorJérémie Tessier