Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Not-review: Raskulls

5:00 PM on 01.04.2011 // Jim Sterling

Raskulls is a game that Destructoid has been covering since it was little more than a name and a piece of concept art. The art style was instantly endearing and we had a feeling that Australian studio Halfbrick had the potential to create a winner. 

In the time since Raskulls' announcement, Halfbrick has become a major player in the mobile gaming market with hits like Fruit Ninja and Monster Dash. Now, if the critics are to be believed, Raskulls is on the road to becoming a hit on Xbox Live Arcade. 

Unfortunately, due to the appearance of Mr. Destructoid as an unlockable character, we cannot write an official review. We can, however, big up the game anyway. So we're doing that. 

Raskulls (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Release date: December 29, 2010
Price: 800 Microsoft Points

Raskulls is a 2D platform racing game with a Mr. Driller block-breaking mechanic. It's hard to further describe Raskulls, since that particular summary pretty much says it all. You take your chosen Raskull to the finish line, utilizing power-ups and speed boosts, and occasionally screwing over your opponents. If your idea of fun is trolling your friends in the cutest way imaginable, Raskulls is the game for you. 

Each map is very well designed around the central gimmick of breaking blocks to create paths and beat the competition. Various power-ups give you the ability to become a fireball and effortlessly crash through blocks, or increase the range of your block zapping wand to cover more ground. It's surprisingly tricky to nab the power-ups (rendered as presents) while also racing through blocks, so keeping a keen eye on the whole screen is key to victory. 

As well as presents, the Raskulls are also powered by a "Frenzy" meter. This meter is filled by collecting jars, zapping blocks, or running through glowing areas of the map. When activated, Frenzy increases the player's speed and zapping ability, and you'll find it essential in competitive matches. 

The game features a robust single-player campaign that tells a rather charming story about the theft of a "Shiny Stone" in the Raskulls kingdom. The narrative is rather funny, with plenty of silly humor and eccentric characters, and Halfbrick attempts a measure of gameplay variety with challenge and puzzle stages. Such puzzles include making your way to the goal while only using a limited number of zaps, or reaching the end without letting the Frenzy meter run out. 

The game is at its best when it sticks to its core racing setup, and unfortunately there's not a huge deal of that to be found in the story mode. So many of the stages are puzzles or challenges which, while diverse, become increasingly annoying and/or boring as the game progresses. The game shines when it's a frantic, button-mashing racing game, not so much when it's a slow paced puzzle game. Unfortunately, some of the more exasperating stages must be played in order to unlock multiplayer characters. 

Speaking of multiplayer, this is what Raskulls was intended for, and it works very well indeed. In fact, Raskulls is one of the most intense multiplayer experiences you could hope to find on Xbox Live. Every race seems to be a close-run thing, with players more often than not winning by a nose. The use of power-ups adds an extra element of trolling to the proceedings, and the potential for much shouting, controller-throwing and claims of cheating is high. 

It's surprising just how stressful a cute, 2D platforming racer can be, especially since it's not even that fast a game. Yet somehow, this is a frantic experience where good timing, quick wits and more than a little luck conspire to determine who wins and loses. It's exactly the kind of game that Xbox Live Arcade was made for, and one that you'll have a lot of fun with, provided you have plenty of friends. 

It's also worth noting that the game looks terrific. The bold lines and colors of the characters makes their endearing designs stand out, and everything is incredibly bright and cheerful. There's some really good music in there too, though nothing that you'll be humming a year from now. 

Raskulls is a damn fine experience, and definitely worth checking out. The single-player experience tries its hand at diversity for the sake of diversity, and it's a very hit-and-miss affair, but the multiplayer provides enough entertainment to keep you amused for a good long while. It's not a game that you can play solidly for hours on end, but more of a "dip in, dip out" affair, perfectly suited to squeezing in a race or two before doing something else. Seen in that light, Raskulls is a fun game with plenty of offer. 

In short: I quite like it. 

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

WryGuy avatarWryGuy
We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! [img][/img]
Flegma avatarFlegma
Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday).
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] やらないか?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If I were a rhino, I'd be horny.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't want DOAX, but it does make me realize... There aren't actually a lot of volleyball games out there, are there? Or tennis, even? At least golf has a little competition, but still. That's golf.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Well, everyone is throwing in their opinion on women and games, and here I am... writing a blog about being aroused by female characters in games as a kid... Perhaps I should hold off, I have a feeling it may just be taken the wrong way.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Thinking about getting my sister yokai watch or animal crossing Happy Home designer(comes with nfc reader). I already got a copy of Tales of xillia for her ps3, this is just a bonus for when she's on the road or at someones house. any suggestions?
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Dark Souls 2. Dem builds.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Posted image I promised Flanx, didn't get response from him. Heart forever broken.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: What game have you played through to completion the most number of times?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
ProTip for UK Nintendo gamers: Twilight Princess HD is finally up for pre-order on Amazon. Unfortunately, it won't ship to anywhere outside of the UK. Dammit Amazon Italy! Get on this!!!
extatix avatarextatix
It's the best time of the year again! Finally we get to listen to Wham and Chris Rea over and over again!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
The Unofficial Destructoid Christmas Card has been ordered. If you claimed one, you should probably PM me your address now.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Started playing Wonderful 101 and it's good, but pretty overwhelming. Think I'll put it down for now. Also sad that there is no penis formation. [img][/img]
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
What the hell happened to Arcade racing games?
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Red from Transistor has joined Indivisible! many thanks to Supergiant Games for their support to this game.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -