Xbox-owning kids who are sad their console will never play host to a Mario adventure have a decent -- if markedly less substantial -- alternative in this competent little platformer. Super Lucky's Tale delivers in most of the ways it counts, providing us with a cute and likable hero in Lucky the fox, handsome cartoon graphics, and solid mechanics for running, jumping, attacking, and digging. And the levels to explore, though small, are filled with fun things to do, from solving puzzles and searching for hidden goodies (don't forget to stop and swivel the camera to see out-of-frame areas) to running gauntlets and figuring out how to defeat mini-bosses. Lucky lacks the range of abilities possessed by characters in other platformers, but he puts those he has to good use, seamlessly and satisfyingly transitioning from leaps to diving to dig through the ground for treasure.
But players familiar with Mario games may notice some of this game's shortcomings. For example, the flow of play -- jump into a level, earn clovers, move on to the next level -- is intuitive but unimaginative, and begins to feel repetitive after a while, especially when you eventually start revisiting levels looking for more collectibles. While other platformers keep things interesting by slowly evolving the main character or introducing new skills for players to master, Lucky is basically a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of hero. There are situations that force players to use his stock moves in new ways and develop mastery of the game's mechanics, but there are few surprises beyond this. It's still plenty of fun, especially when played in shorter bursts to keep a sense of repetition from setting in, but Lucky has a ways to go before he can compete with the true heavyweights of the genre.