Some gamers like to walk through their adventures. There’s nothing wrong with setting a game to ‘easy’. Many modern games actually support a reduction in combat for those who wish to simply enjoy the story. The Skylia Prophecy is not one of these games, however. This is a game designed to push you to your limit, and reward your for perseverance.
The Skylia Prophecy is a 2D action-platformer comparable to the early Castlevania titles. Much like Capcom’s beloved 8-bit experiences, it purports to having ‘RPG elements’, but this essentially boils down to occasional health or mana upgrades and talking to people as you pass through towns. The core gameplay is you and your sword facing down enemies. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but in reality there’s a reason few enemies appear on-screen at any one time.
The game begins as it means to go on. It does not offer a tutorial. Nor any kind of in-game control information option. Many may be confused as they fail to get passed the first screen until they walk to the person nearby and press up on the along stick or D-Pad. Why up? This is your first test. The Skylia Prophecy rarely gets any easier than this.
Once you begin speaking you are immediately challenged to kill an enemy that is too low to be struck by your sword. You must instead use your shield to kill this enemy, but nowhere does the game explain this. Nor does it explain that a subsequent enemy can only be killed by an explosive barrel, for which you need to be pixel-perfect in your positioning to ensure that you don’t also die when striking it. This is how The Skylia Prophecy proceeds. You rarely have any idea what you’re doing or where you’re going, but you need to figure it out.
For all the complaining of Metroid Dread‘s supposedly random block busting progression, The Skylia Prophecy owns it. This is a game in which much of your progress will be determined by looking for pillars that appear out of place and jumping on them to access new areas. By randomly exploding barrels in the hope that you don’t also die. By checking every unlocked door in case this one is the one you need to go through. All the while your health is limited, and you can only ever carry one health potion.
The description of the game in this review was based on playing in ‘easy’ mode. Again, there’s no shame in that. However, The Skylia Prophecy sets a standard of difficulty that will undoubtedly have many shy away. If you’re looking for a new challenge and you’re not interested in Elden Ring, The Skylia Prophecy may well be worth a look.