South Korean developers, SouthPaw Games, are working on a spiffy, hand-animated side-scroller called Skul. It’s a rogue-lite with some stylishly vivacious combat, and a hero who is both charmingly courageous and dangerously captivating.
The demo for Skul is available right now over on the SouthPaw Games itch.io page.
The demo features basic controls, such as moving, jumping, attacking, dashing, skill, and skull-swapping.
The basic premise is that players take on the role of a guard of the Dark Lord’s castle named Skul. He’s charged with venturing out of the castle when his master and fellow demons are defeated and captured by the humans of Earth realm. He makes a daring plan to go after his master, and fight his way through the hordes to retrieve his undead family.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Skul seeing the thumbnail in the trailer and the Itch.io page, but once I saw what sort of passionate enthusiasm that SouthPaw infused into the world of Skul and the undeniable amount of verve exercised by the animators to bring the combat and characters to life, I instantly fell in love with the game’s design.
The combat is simple enough to grasp but challenging enough to become addictive. You can exercise basic attacks, combos, air-juggles, and special moves.
Skul’s abilities change-up as you swap out to different skulls, giving you access to a different palette of abilities, as showcased in the trailer above.
It reminds me a lot of Hollow Knight, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The different skull heads granting players different abilities reminds me of a lot of the way you could change-up your fighting style and abilities in games like Secret of Mana by simply swapping to different weapons.
While the game is currently being developed by a South Korean outfit, it does feature English, Deutsch, and Japanese language support.