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The Legend of Skye review

The Legend of Skye review
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Only a lack of signposting prevents it from reaching the heights of its retro point-and-click fantasy inspirations

Every few years I try to replay the games I grew up with. They will always hold a place dear to my heart, since they were my introduction to the point-and-click adventure genre. I have a feeling that indie developer Point & Pixel Adventures shares this sentiment. After releasing their Maniac Mansion-style debut The Castle in 2019, their new game has clearly been inspired by slightly later LucasArts games to deliver another charming retro adventure experience. The lack of sufficient signposting at times will make many gamers glad that The Legend of Skye comes with a complete walkthrough, especially during the first half, but once you are tuned in to the druid way of life, it’s a pleasing traditional fantasy adventure that hits all the right nostalgic chords. 

King Finn is destroying the forest by cutting down the trees and using the black magic powers of his servant Malgrim. He has big plans to build an amusement park (because, yeah, what would a medieval king do otherwise with all those taxes collected?). The forest spirits have other ideas and implore Skye, a young druid with blonde hair and a blue cape, to help stop the evil king and save the woods. What follows are many hours of exploration in a lush and lively world filled with funny dialogues with a quirky cast of characters, as well as inventory puzzles that are sure to remind players of the old adage to try everything on everything, since solutions aren’t always so easy to come by.

I often try to jump on titles that harken back to the gameplay style of the late 80s and early 90s, and what drew me to The Legend of Skye was the opportunity to once again use a standard SCUMM-like interface. Nine verbs and an inventory take up the bottom third of the screen, with the in-game action taking place in the upper two thirds. It wasn’t long before I really felt like I was a teenager again, discovering a brand new world of pure imagination by pointing my cursor everywhere and clicking on interesting hotspots after choosing what I wanted to do with them.

But nostalgia only goes so far, and I admit that after constantly trying to LOOK AT, PICK UP, OPEN, PULL, PUSH and USE one hotspot after another, trying to find the correct combination the designers had envisioned, I began to miss the easier one-click interface of modern adventures. Right-clicking a hotspot does speed up the process somewhat by choosing the most natural option – like TALK TO when interacting with an NPC – but it certainly won’t give away any specifically needed action to solve a puzzle. 

Thankfully, the world of The Legend of Skye is a dream to explore with these nine verbs at your disposal. There are a couple of forests, a medieval city and a mountain range containing all kinds of neat stuff, not the least of which is a huge cast of fun characters. There’s Skye’s fellow druids and their shaman, city folk like the butcher looking for his daughter’s lost squirrel, the baker in need of a kitchen assistant, and the role-playing game shop owner trying to scam you into keeping buying trading cards. You’ll also encounter a local witch with obviously more magical experience than Skye, a community of gnomes protecting their caves, a master archer in dire need of a lesson in humility, and a little boy fishing by the river who refuses to lend you his boat until you get him a chocolate bun. 

There’s lots of humor to be enjoyed from these characters, especially when you take a closer look at the dialogue options Skye has lined up. The “correct” one is always obvious, with Skye helpfully and succinctly replying, but sometimes there are also sarcastic and even downright insulting options to choose from. It’s up to you whether to keep Skye a goody two-shoes heroine or make her a bit sassier. The latter is only for extra fun anyway, since it won’t change the outcome of your conversations, though they do seem to fit better with the different aspects of her character. On the one hand she’s always eager to help out, yet on the other she has a plain disregard of other people and creatures, stealing from or even downright abusing them – in a purely comical sense – like using a rooster for an arrow or blowing up a petrified gnome. 

The Legend of Skye

The Legend of Skye
Genre: Fantasy
Presentation: 2D or 2.5D
Theme: Magical
Perspective: Third-Person
Graphic Style: Pixel art
Gameplay: Puzzle, Quest
Control: Point-and-click
Game Length: Medium (5-10 hours)
Action: Timed events
Difficulty: Medium

The Legend of Skye’s pixel art backgrounds and characters would have been right at home in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or the first Monkey Island game. Indeed, some backgrounds seem to have been directly inspired by the prison on Mêlée Island™, its main street with the clocktower, and the overlook on Monkey Island. And whenever you leave a central location, an overview map – also very similar to those in the Monkey Island games – pops up, on which you can choose your next location and see an itty bitty Skye the size of a grain of rice move towards it. It’s too bad you can’t access this map from every screen, though; especially in the forest, it takes quite a bit of hiking to go from one edge to the other. At least for roaming around the city, the developers have added a “teleport” icon with which you can immediately return to the city gate and be just one screen away from that overview map.

Skye’s world is filled with small animations like running water, falling leaves and buzzing wasps, and is further brought to life by the sounds of bird song and blowing wind, among many other ambient effects. The game isn’t voiced, but the music is a constant and comfortable companion with its characteristic medieval folkloristic style, mainly using different types of flutes to go with drums and violins. Skye’s quest is sometimes interrupted with cutscenes showing King Finn and his own personal magician, Malgrim. These are backed by a music track very reminiscent of LeChuck’s theme (in case you needed still more proof of the game’s Monkey Island inspiration). There’s a musical puzzle too, which made me wonder how it could ever be solved by players with hearing problems, since there are no alternative visual clues.

Speaking of senses, another puzzle demands the most of your visual cortex. You’ll need to navigate an enchanted forest, taking notice of what side moss is growing on rocks to deduce which way is north. However, said moss is often only the size of a couple of slightly different-colored pixels, so it would have been very handy if Skye could have given a short description of the rocks instead of having to rely solely on my own color-blind, myopic eyes... 

Other puzzles can be quite daunting at times, too, since it's often unclear what you're supposed to do. You’ll wander around collecting a bunch of inventory items quite easily, but without a clear idea of where to use them exactly. Indeed, The Legend of Skye‘s signposting leaves something to be desired. Since there are many little steps you need to take in order to accomplish the three main goals – find and free the imprisoned shaman, help gather ingredients for a spell, and finally find a way to defeat Malgrim – it’s easy to feel a little aimless along the way. 

The journey certainly has its fun moments, with a natural flow where one thing leads to another if you think about it a bit, and in hindsight I always applauded the writers’ creative and clever solutions. However, in the moment it also can border on frustration, with many puzzles that are a bit too layered for their own good. Often I thought I’d finally found my way past an obstacle, only to be confronted with yet another setback but with no new items or locations to assist me further with possible new options to consider. If only Skye would comment on what you were trying to do – not giving solutions away, of course, but perhaps just pointing you in the right direction. Without that, realizing you’ll have to backtrack through every location for the twelfth or so time in search of something you might have missed, maybe trying all your inventory items on all hotspots again in case you accidentally skipped a combination, may just be incentive enough to give up and click open that walkthrough. 

Yes, The Legend of Skye comes with a complete walkthrough, which is readily available through its Steam page or as an extra download on And yes, I fell victim to such easy temptation a couple of times. Suffice it to say I finished the game in eight hours, but it could just as easily have taken me ten if I’d had more self-control. And even if you have no personal qualms about using walkthroughs, be forewarned that you can do things very much out of order, and checking the walkthrough for one thing can inadvertently spoil another very easily.

Beyond the standard inventory puzzles, there are also timed challenges for which you only get a small window to accomplish something, like grabbing an object or stealthily exchanging one. These puzzles have to be tackled in a rather elaborate step-by-step sequence consisting of several actions, such as beating a master archer, sedating the local baker, or retrieving an origami boat you set afloat. However, instead of Skye helpfully commenting that your incorrect attempts won’t work, she will go through the motions of doing as you instruct her but without the desired results. I got a bit sick of constantly repeating myself, watching the same animations over and over again, leading to one disappointing failure after another, before I finally discovered the sweet spot of how they were supposed to be achieved. 

There are a couple of places where it is possible to die in The Legend of Skye, but that’s mostly done for an extra laugh, since Skye will always respawn just before you made the wrong move as if nothing happened. It’s clearly a reference to the random deaths in classic Sierra adventures, but without being as brutal or final. There’s even a “combat” scene that echoes the Indiana Jones adventures, but it’s more designed as a puzzle than a true action sequence. Unlike most games these days, this one offers a welcome manual save system, although this is only necessary to record your progress, never to reload after doing something wrong. 

Final Verdict

Lovers of nostalgia will adore both the lovely pixel art graphics and (at least for a while) verb-based user interface of The Legend of Skye’s fantasy journey, but some puzzle designs seem to stem from the 80s and 90s as well. You’ll often have to think long and hard about how to use your huge collection of inventory items, and you’ll find yourself searching everywhere and talking to everyone more than once before the penny drops – if you don’t stumble upon the solution accidentally through trial and error first. While I enjoyed the humor and had lots of fun throughout, especially during the second half, by which point the game’s expectations had started to become a bit more intuitive to me, it also came with its share of frustrations. This too will be very familiar to all those who tried to solve adventure game puzzles in the era before the internet, which appears to be the point. At least this time you don’t need to call a hotline to pay for your hints, with a walkthrough always close at hand. I wish I didn’t need to use it as often as I did, but I gladly accept some old-school gameplay frustrations for the chance to feel transported back in time with a funny, entertaining adventure experience like I remember from my childhood.

Hot take


The SCUMM-style interface and some poorly clued objectives might not appeal to modern players used to easier games, but for old-school genre fans, The Legend of Skye provides a wonderful dose of nostalgia, transporting you back to the golden days of point-and-click classics. 


  • Graphics and interface provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane to late 80s and early 90s
  • Challenging inventory puzzles with lots of items to collect
  • Includes a walkthrough for those who can’t resist the temptation


  • Quick travel map can’t be accessed everywhere
  • Certain puzzles won’t be accessible to those with sound or vision impairments
  • Lack of signposting may make the walkthrough almost a necessity at times

Johnny played The Legend of Skye on PC using a review code provided by the game’s publisher.  

1 Comment

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  1. I thought this was one of the best mid-90's style adventure games since the mid-90's themselves. I actually appreciated the lack of sign-posting and the increased noggin scratching it mandated. Still, I do agree that there were a couple of unfair puzzles, particularly a certain puzzle where you have to do something in one screen, move a couple of screens over, then wait 4-5 seconds in that screen to take advantage of the thing you did in the first screen. The visual cue that you had done something correctly should have happened immediately when you entered the relevant screens. Otherwise, one of the puzzles that involved getting a key struck me as being the only moon-logic puzzle that operated outside of the zany but consistent logic of the rest of the game. Overall, the game is full of great characters, memorable places and scenes, and well written funny dialogue, even if the translation is sometimes a little rough around the edges. It's a very low-key game, so it won't wow you like some other titles, but it's cozy and charming with a story that is compelling enough to compel the player forward while remaining light enough to never get in its own way. Those qualities plus some truly excellent and challenging inventory/observation puzzles will hook players who still enjoy challenging adventure games. Oh, and the ending is awesome.


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