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Darkened Skye (PC)
Generally speaking, candy and videogames just shouldn't mix like this.
By Jason D'Aprile | Apr. 1, 2002

The Lowdown: If you can get over the inane product licensing and the idea that small sugar pills are magical, this isn't a bad third-person action/adventure.
Pros: Interesting spell system, good character design and dialogue, decent 3D engine, lots of eye-candy, good sound.
Cons: Annoying jumping, mazes, lackluster combat system, flat, angular look, dated graphics.

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Platform:  Windows
Game Type:  Action
Developer:  Boston Animation
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Full Game Information
In Darkened Skye's defense, it's important to first note that this game -- in all likelihood -- probably did not start off with a bizarrely surreal connection to Skittles candy. The evidence is in the obvious time that someone took to create its characters, backstory, look, and feel. And then, presumably, the call of quick cash was too much to bear, and they made everything dirty with the stench of cheap marketing tie-ins.

The fact is that Darkened Skye actually isn't bad. It's a decent adventure with an absurd candy license that makes it very hard to take seriously. The developers clearly understood this, so the game doesn't even try to take itself seriously. The main character is a quirky, sexy young thing with a hot sounding voice and a penchant for being sarcastic about everything. She's joined by an equally as sarcastic little demon that guides her, translates for her, and adds humorous quips whenever possible. The oddest thing about this duo is how damned likeable they are.

Mixing the usual bad guy trying to take over the once peaceful and beautiful land theme with, well, the power and might of Skittles candy, Darkened Skye's plot is certainly distinctive. Unfortunately, it's distinctive in mostly wrong ways. The game opens with the lovely Skye herding the game's equivalent to sheep and complaining about her lot in life. As she's doing this, some local doofus ends up getting beaten near by for wearing colorful clothes, then Skye finds herself in a worrisome situation when one of the troubled animals starts turning bright colors. This, of course, leads her to the discovery of the power of Skittles.

As it turns out, the world was once a beautiful and colorful place -- a wondrous paradise ruled over by five kingdoms, each with a magical prism. Magic was in the air, and there was always a glorious rainbow in the sky. And what caused all this peace, harmony, and flamboyant skyline effects you ask? Why, the power of those small, sugar-filled morsels of course! Yes, in case you missed the marketing ploys, Skittles are the secret to peace, tranquility, and circus wear. In Skye's world at least.

As you might have guessed, the game takes Skye through five distinct lands of magic and mayhem. Traversing swamps, deserts, forests, islands, old ruins, fortresses, and other stables of the fantasy genre, Skye runs into an assortment of evil monsters, hapless natives, and obnoxious jumping exercises. While the game world's reliance on rather frustrating and frequent jumping puzzles explains why our heroine is in such good shape, it mainly ends up feeling like artificial filler to lengthen the game. The odd, convoluted maze here and there doesn't help matters either, and neither does Skye's inability to tolerate water. Thankfully, most of the actual game design works well enough to be entertaining, if not much more.

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