It was all the way back in October of last year that we were intrigued by a gorgeous animated trailer for the upcoming game A Skeleton Story. Then, months and months passed by with nothing more about the game, until last month when A Skeleton Story reappeared with some new in-game screenshots. We even had some hands-on time with a preview version of the game, which revealed itself to be a Canabalt-esque run and jump affair. After a turbulent journey, A Skeleton Story [99Β’] has finally arrived in the App Store. While it contains some interesting ideas that attempt to set it apart from similar games in the genre, unresponsive controls and slow, repetitive gameplay keep it from being anything special.

The most notable drawback in the game are the lackluster controls. The directional stick that controls your character's movement is often unresponsive, and for a game that demands quick reactions this results in many frustrating deaths. Also there is an odd delay when firing your weapon, so most the time you will have already passed an enemy that you intended to kill before the shot fires. This causes you to have to stop, turn around, and fire in the opposite direction than you are traveling, which breaks the flow of the gameplay and is never a good sign in a game where the goal is to be constantly moving forward. These problems are even more pronounced due to the slow pace of the game to begin with.

One cool aspect to A Skeleton Story is the upgrade shop that lets you spend the coins you earn during play on enhancements to things like speed, life, and firepower. Upgrading these attributes alleviates the problem of the slow gameplay somewhat, but not much. It also doesn't help that less than a week ago we were treated to the sublime gameplay that is Monster Dash [99Β’], which really nailed the controls and pacing that A Skeleton Story seems to have been shooting for. The art in A Skeleton Story is well done, although it's a shame that all the potential of the trailer never gets fully realized with such shallow gameplay. For a dollar you may get enough enjoyment from the visual style alone, but in terms of fun factor and functionality it's just too little too late for A Skeleton Story.

  • Noah

    Oh man, and I was so looking forward to this game too after that great trailer!!

    • klouud

      yup - and the game is such a letdown.

      • estyst

        unfortunately :(

  • Noah

    Oh man, and I was so looking forward to this game too after that great trailer!!

    • klouud

      yup - and the game is such a letdown.

      • estyst

        unfortunately :(

  • sk8erdude50

    I'm pretty bummed too

  • sk8erdude50

    I'm pretty bummed too

  • ToysR

    I just bought the game and after reading this article i expected to be less fun while i think that a skeleton story is nice game and worth 0.99$

    I hope the dev will make some other updates!

  • ToysR

    I just bought the game and after reading this article i expected to be less fun while i think that a skeleton story is nice game and worth 0.99$

    I hope the dev will make some other updates!

  • MrMuesli

    Monster Dash this Monster Dash that....these two games share little similarity. SS isn't continually scrolling. Instead the intermittently moving cat is the incentive to push on. I prefer the way you can choose to press on or back track for the coin you missed, at the risk that the cat gets further away. It's a twist on this type of game I haven't seen until now.

    Also, the controls work fine. They are not less responsive. They just respond slower (there's a difference), which depending on the person, can mean that they are 'broken', or that it simply demands a degree of anticipation, which is a challenge. The freedom to move left/right as well means you avoid all those blind jumps toward death which plague Monster Dash (that game really needs a double jump).

    It's not any more repetitive than any of the best games out there. I think most people are still trying to get over that the chosen genre was not different. Whatever. I think it's a great simple game different enough to separate itself from the pack, with a fantastic intro video to boot. Well worth a measly 59p.

    • suckmyballs

      noob, if monster dash has double jump, then whats the point in playing in that, so do yourself a favor, don't be an idiot.

      • MrMuesli

        Wow, its insightful comments like that that just make me remember why I don't frequent this site half as much now. Hope you enjoyed your insulting moment there...

  • MrMuesli

    Monster Dash this Monster Dash that....these two games share little similarity. SS isn't continually scrolling. Instead the intermittently moving cat is the incentive to push on. I prefer the way you can choose to press on or back track for the coin you missed, at the risk that the cat gets further away. It's a twist on this type of game I haven't seen until now.

    Also, the controls work fine. They are not less responsive. They just respond slower (there's a difference), which depending on the person, can mean that they are 'broken', or that it simply demands a degree of anticipation, which is a challenge. The freedom to move left/right as well means you avoid all those blind jumps toward death which plague Monster Dash (that game really needs a double jump).

    It's not any more repetitive than any of the best games out there. I think most people are still trying to get over that the chosen genre was not different. Whatever. I think it's a great simple game different enough to separate itself from the pack, with a fantastic intro video to boot. Well worth a measly 59p.

    • http://dfsds suckmyballs

      noob, if monster dash has double jump, then whats the point in playing in that, so do yourself a favor, don't be an idiot.

      • MrMuesli

        Wow, its insightful comments like that that just make me remember why I don't frequent this site half as much now. Hope you enjoyed your insulting moment there...

  • sniperboy

    the game is awesome, i only have one thing about the controls.

    the joystick should be tap to move left/right, not sliding the joystick left/right

    it should be set as an option if others prefer sliding to tapping

  • sniperboy

    the game is awesome, i only have one thing about the controls.

    the joystick should be tap to move left/right, not sliding the joystick left/right

    it should be set as an option if others prefer sliding to tapping

  • Snowdude11

    This game is awesome only they need a major update. Everything Jared said in the article is happening to me- Unresponsive controls, I have been dying way to much, and slow and repetitive gameplay. What stinks is, like most people, I have been waiting for this game to come out ever since I heard about it. Know, unless they get a major update, I don't see me coming back to this game anytime soon.

  • Snowdude11

    This game is awesome only they need a major update. Everything Jared said in the article is happening to me- Unresponsive controls, I have been dying way to much, and slow and repetitive gameplay. What stinks is, like most people, I have been waiting for this game to come out ever since I heard about it. Know, unless they get a major update, I don't see me coming back to this game anytime soon.

  • Sera

    i wished, i haven't paid for this. the controls are aweful! the gameplay is boring to.
    but the grafics are good

  • Sera

    i wished, i haven't paid for this. the controls are aweful! the gameplay is boring to.
    but the grafics are good

  • P0tent1al

    As soon as news broke that this was a side scroller, I was disppointed that this was the game the devs decided on.

    It sounds like the game could have done with some Beta focus testing with the general public... I have seen many games designed by devs who have spent so long play testing their own title that they don't see the flaws and have grown accustom to the control method and this is clearly demonstrated by the instant negativity to the controls...

    I only own Canabalt in this type of game and that is enough for me in terms of side scolling short burst gameplay.

    I hope updates are swift for the people who have bought it, as I would really like to see this dev apply this amazing graphical talent to other types of games.

  • P0tent1al

    As soon as news broke that this was a side scroller, I was disppointed that this was the game the devs decided on.

    It sounds like the game could have done with some Beta focus testing with the general public... I have seen many games designed by devs who have spent so long play testing their own title that they don't see the flaws and have grown accustom to the control method and this is clearly demonstrated by the instant negativity to the controls...

    I only own Canabalt in this type of game and that is enough for me in terms of side scolling short burst gameplay.

    I hope updates are swift for the people who have bought it, as I would really like to see this dev apply this amazing graphical talent to other types of games.

  • http://www.robotplague.com robotplague

    Man, that sucks. I had my eye on it after that first trailer. Ah well...

  • http://www.robotplague.com robotplague

    Man, that sucks. I had my eye on it after that first trailer. Ah well...