Duck Souls+ review for PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Green Dinosaur Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Duck Souls+ is not, as you may hope, a re-imagining of Dark Souls with the titular water fowl in the role of the undead warrior, amazing as that would be. No, it?s a platformer starring — you guessed it — a duck. The last duck, in fact, setting out on a quest given to him by the ghosts of his duck ancestors to rescue the world?s remaining duck eggs.

Even if it?s hardly a 1:1 match, however, Duck Souls+ still takes at least one cue from the venerable Souls series: it?s super-hard. It?s one of those 2D platformers with short levels where death waits around every corner, and even if you can usually see what the game asks of you, actually doing it is a lot harder.

That said, Duck Souls+ sets itself apart from many other platformers of this ilk in its relative fairness. Yes, you?ll die a lot, but the game gives you the tools you need. The jumps are crisp and precise, with no sliding or floating to cause cheap deaths. Likewise, even if every level features all manner of spikes and disappearing platforms and heat-seeking rockets and whirling lava shooters — to name just a few of the many environmental dangers here — nothing ever seems ridiculously unfair. There?s nothing here that seems impossible right off the bat, which is a nice step up from a lot of these kinds of games. It?s just hard.

But hard doesn?t equal bad, of course. That was true for Dark Souls, and it?s true for Duck Souls+. It?s not like there aren?t dozens of other tough-as-nails platformers that inhabit the same space, but Duck Souls+ is definitely one of the better ones.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Duck Souls+ PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: A-