PS5/PS4 Review: Skeler Boy

I was a Skeler Boy, she said (you know where I’m going with this…)

Experience a nostalgic aesthetic right out of 1970s and 1980s cultural classics, with adventure gameplay and a dark and disturbing narrative!  The story begins in a forest… A white-haired boy, Skeler, is looking for his girlfriend Megan. She has disappeared without a trace, with just a somewhat disconcerting voice message. But we do not know Megan’s motives. She left of her own free will? Did someone kidnap her? Everything is a mystery to Skeler, and he will travel many places to find out. As we progress the story will become increasingly darker and more sinister, leading Skeler to not be able to distinguish reality.

Skeler Boy is a 2D puzzle-adventure game with a theme that tries to capture the feel of an old classic horror film but with NES style visuals. It’s quite a short game, but does deliver the experience it sets out to.

The puzzles are pretty simple, yet there’s a unnerving feeling hovering over you the entire time. There’s also a nod to Metal Gear with it’s own version of codec calls, you can even input whatever frequency you want to enter before calling whoever you need to. There are a few QTEs with hacking doors and so on, but other than that it’s fairly standard stuff.

The game was made by indie developer Maniac Boy Studio in Spain and is even getting a NES, Game Boy and ZX Spectrum versions for those who backed the Kickstarter. You can see the influences that the game has taken from the likes of Maniac Mansion and so on, but it does put it’s own unique touch on it. There’s even a 50-page manga you unlock as you play…

The soundtrack is impressive with powerful, atmospheric tunes. Voice-acting itself is brief, but in Spanish and the English translations for text aren’t always the most accurate. For example, one character will say to you “Hi there! Who you are?”, it’s not quite as bad as “Your Base Are Belong To Us” but still laughably noticeable. Despite this, the story is well written and you will become invested in it and the characters you come across.

The Verdict

Skeler Boy is a nice nod to games like Maniac Mansion, while carving out its own identity. I was impressed with it overall and look forward to the sequel.

Score: 7.5