• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Duck Souls Review – Prepare to Quack


Jul 1, 2021

Make no mistake, Duck Souls is a cruel game. It will pluck out your feathers until you’re a weird, pink mess, flailing about on the floor and praying for relief. Oh, but when you nail a tricky challenge, when you land on that checkpoint and know you’ll never have to get past those spikes, those hammers, those fire-spewing cannons ever again, well, it’s an experience that was worth all of the torment.

The game is a razor-edged platformer that sees you leaping and dashing your way past an array of deadly obstacles. There are spikes, there are moving platforms, there are pounding hammers that squish you flat. Duck Souls demands split-second perfection, and when you mess up it’s ruthless in doling out its punishment.

The controls are simple enough – you slide a finger left or right to move in that direction, and jab at the jump button to jump. The big addition is your dash move – swipe the right of the screen and you’ll leap in that direction. You need to combo together jumps, dashes, wall grabs and more to get to your goal.

Your dash takes a second to recharge, but in later levels you’ll find cherries that power it back up instantly. Everything here is fast and frantic, and you’re constantly on the verge of a catastrophic death. Luckily the checkpoints keep the repetition to a minimum – you’ll find them after almost every tricky section. Which, in fairness, is all of them.

It rarely feels like the touchscreen controls have let you down here, or that a section is impossible. Duck Souls balances its difficulty perfectly – you’re rarely fewer than a few pixels away from success, and that means you’ll keep trying. Over and over and over and over again.

And then you’ll nail it. And the sudden surge of joy will push you on to try the next obstacle, to grab the next egg, to see the next evil twist on a standard idea the game is going to throw at you. 

This is danger-laden, hardcore platforming at its very best. It was leave your mouth filthy with obscenities, your palms sodden with frustration and your eyes darkened with rage. And you’ll love every second of it.

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