It had some flaws, but I was a big fan of Super Lucky’s Tale when it launched back in 2017. Needless to say then, I’m a big fan of New Super Lucky’s Tale, too.
Originally released on Nintendo Switch in late 2019, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a “new and improved” version of the original. According to Playful Studios’ announcement blog post, “it’s been rebuilt from the ground up”. It’s not a lie. It tells the same story and it takes you to the same worlds, but it feels like a completely different game. Having completed Super Lucky’s Tale, I don’t feel like I’m retreading old ground. There’s an occasional sense of déjà vu, but for the most part, it feels like a completely different experience.
Being made for the Nintendo Switch, New Super Lucky’s Tale doesn’t look quite as sharp as the original did. Visuals were one of the highlights of the 2017 release; here, they’ve been pared back and simplified. It’s a noticeable change, but that’s not to say it’s ugly. It’s still a delightful looking game, and on Xbox Series X it renders at 4K, with an incredibly smooth framerate. Our biggest complaint with the Switch version of the game was the occasional performance hiccup, of which there’s absolutely no sign of here.
“That’s perhaps the best thing about New Super Lucky’s Tale; the sheer variety on offer”
Lucky himself, a colourful and lively fox, is a wonderful protagonist. He can double-jump through the air, perform a spin attack, and dash underground. He’s quick and nimble, and responsive to control. His jumps always feel precise and, with one key upgrade from Super Lucky’s Tale, a fully movable camera means you always feel in control. The camera never bothered me before, but going back to Super Lucky’s Tale is tough now after having the luxury of full control.
What was originally DLC in Super Lucky’s Tale has been amalgamated into part of the main story in New Super Lucky’s Tale. Gilly’s Island forms one of the game’s five core worlds, and Foxington remains a bonus area that unlocks once the credits have rolled. That’s six fully fleshed-out areas to explore, each with a wealth of levels and puzzles to complete. That’s perhaps the best thing about New Super Lucky’s Tale; the sheer variety on offer. No two levels ever feel the same. Some are 2.5D platforming levels. Others are fully 3D, challenging you with various missions – like waking up sleeping ghosts, or destroying speakers to lift beachgoers from their trance-like dancing.
“Each of the game’s worlds is fantastically designed”
Brand new to New Super Lucky’s Tale is a handful of auto-running levels, where Lucky automatically moves forward, with you in control of jumping, attacking or digging. There’s only a few of these throughout the game, but they’re a definite highlight. Taking only a few minutes to complete, they’re fast-paced and a lot of fun.
That variety of levels on offer means you never quite know what you’re going to get when you jump through a level door for the first time. No level is ever disappointing though; each of the game’s worlds is fantastically designed, and the levels within them are tailored to fit their theme. It’s so easy to get engrossed, hopping from one level to another without regard for how much time has passed. Optional goals in each of the levels – such as finding a secret area, or collecting letters to spell ‘LUCKY’ – add some replayability, too.
“One of the most wholesome and enjoyable 3D platform games of recent years”
The fact that Super Lucky’s Tale and New Super Lucky’s Tale now exist side-by-side on the same format is a little confusing, granted. If you’ve already played Super Lucky’s Tale, you might wonder why you should bother to play this ‘New’ version. But bother you should; if you liked it the first time round, you’ll get a huge kick out of how much nicer it controls. The redesigned levels and new additions make it worthwhile, too. And even if you didn’t particularly enjoy Super Lucky’s Tale for one reason or another, I urge you to give New Super Lucky’s Tale another chance.
New Super Lucky’s Tale is a game that probably doesn’t need to exist, all things considered. But I’m very glad it does; the changes made to this version make it even better than it was the first time round. It remains one of the most wholesome and enjoyable 3D platform games of recent years, and I just hope we get more of Lucky’s adventures in the future.