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Monday, July 20, 2009

William and Sly - Game of the Day


What is it?William and Sly is a beautifully-presented platforming adventure game where you play a nimble fox who must help his master restore power to a series of teleportation runestones in the forest between his home and a remote storage shed.

Who made it? – The game was created by Lucas Paakh of Particlasm.com.

How does it play? – After a brief opening dialogue with Master William, it’s up to you (Sly) to explore the surrounding forest. Chief among your goals is to find and collect fireflies and use them to repower the runestones leading out to the storage area. Once runestones have been repowered, you can quickly teleport yourself between them for faster navigation. As you might suspect, a final boss battle awaits you in the shed, once all of the runes have been restored. The arrows-only control scheme is handled exquisitely, making the game very easy and enjoyable to pick up and play.

At its core, William and Sly is a game about collectibles. The 2-D world map is absolutely gigantic, and exploring every nook, cranny, and hidden cave takes quite some time. In addition to the main objective of restoring runestones, there are also numerous collectibles like hidden mushrooms, and keys which unlock hidden chests.

Sly will also have to avoid “darklings” which are forest-dwelling baddies that will deplete the supply of fireflies you’ve collected. Darklings can be dispelled using white magic, which surrounds Sly for a brief time after he teleports to a new area.

PresentationWilliam and Sly is one of the best looking Flash games out there. The characters are all superbly illustrated and animated, and the level design is both huge and filled with secret areas and collectibles. Ethereal music does a great job of setting the mood, and ambient weather and nature effects make the experience even more immersive.

Positives – All around, the game is a class-act. The main quest is of a reasonable length, ensuring that it can be enjoyed by casual and hardcore players, alike. Few Flash games provide such a vast world to explore, and you can tell that a lot of work went into the map design.

Negatives – Unlike typical platforming action games, there isn’t any true combat present in William and Sly. Progression depends wholly on item collection. It’s also possible to beeline through the main story, but players that rush through may miss a good chunk of the experience.

Why you should play itWilliam and Sly is a must-play for anyone who loves action-adventure games, though it’s so well-crafted and easy to get into that even those not normally inclined should probably check it out. When it comes to exploration-based adventuring and platforming excellence, there are few Flash games that come as close.

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