My first hands on with The Plucky Squire was one of the most joyful experiences in ages

June 19, 2024
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Joy is a bit underrated, I reckon, but at Summer Game Fest this year it felt like the closest thing to a running theme. Astro Bot and Lego Horizon Adventures were both a breeze, playful, ebullient family games that put all their focus on simply being a good time. The Plucky Squire, an action game with a domestic dimension hopping twist, however, probably just pipped them to the position of first, in the race to be the most joyful experience I had all week.

In fact, it was one of the most joyful I’ve had in video games for a little while. The Plucky Squire is a delight.

The setup here involved an opening sequence in a 2D part of The Plucky Squire, the main storybook. What’s striking is how the edges of the pages, while always visible, seem to just melt away here. You are in this, playing a top-down Zelda-like adventure, whacking little enemy blobs with your sword or using a nice little throw-and-recall system for it like a manually-summoned boomerang. You hop ledges and chasms from set, green swirls in the ground, which take you to corresponding green swirls on the other side. Then you hit an obstacle – a big spinning mincer that seems rather gnarly and, frankly, suspiciously out of place for this twee little pastel-hued tale – and hop on another swirl and – oh! – you’ve jumped right out of the page.

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