Skeleton Key Review

Skeleton Key LogoSkeleton Key offers 120 mind-bending logic puzzles at a great price. This sliding puzzle game is accessible enough to be played with one finger and features global leader boards and achievements thanks to integration of the popular OpenFeint network.

The premise of Skeleton Key is that you are a treasure hunter that has acquired keys to countless treasure chests. You must slide these keys through labyrinthine levels while trying not to get any stuck. You have the ability to slide your keys left, right and down, but not up. You are also given a limited number of moves to complete a level based on your chosen difficulty, so careful planning is paramount to success. Read More…

Skeleton Key ScreenshotThe game begins by having you navigate relatively simple mazes with a single key,  but will soon add multiple keys and chests as well as a door and switch system. All of the keys on a level move in tandem, so it becomes necessary to use walls to your advantage in order to line up the keys properly.

Should you run out of available moves in a level you will lose a life. You can also manually restart a level at the cost of a life should you get a key stuck. You can restart a level through a traditional menu or by simply shaking your device. If you do happen to lose all of your lives, you can continue from the same level, but your score will be reset.

In order to climb the leader boards and unlock the achievements in Skeleton Key, you will need to stay alive as long as possible. You will gain a life every time you score 30 points. If you are truly stuck on a level and are not concerned about your score, you can also sacrifice a life to skip a level, provided of course that you have an extra life to sacrifice.  You can also visit the Skeleton Key website to find solutions to every level.

Every 30 levels you will move to a new environment marked by a nice map animation. In essence only the background of the game changes, however this is obviously meant to signify the progress of a journey or adventure. Insurgent Games did a great job setting up the premise of Skelton Key and while this sort of game really doesn’t need one at all, I’d like to see parts of the story added when changing environments, if only to pull everything together a bit more.

While the graphical presentation of Skeleton Key is simple, it avoids looking too cluttered or busy.  Each of the four environments - forest, cave, beach and pirate ship - are distinct and feature detailed backgrounds.  The game also features a suitably adventurous soundtrack, though you are given the freedom to listen to your device’s library if you choose.

The puzzles of Skeleton Key kept me busy for hours and the game proved to be an addictive challenge at the normal difficulty. At $1.99 it provides a great value for any puzzle fan. Integration of the OpenFeint network gives Skeleton Key some extra legs thanks to some great achievements and of course, global leaderboards.


+ Lots of Well-Designed Puzzles
+ Online Leaderboards and Achievements via OpenFeint
+ Highly Accessible


- Story Elements are Thin

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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward


Skeleton Key (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Insurgent Games
Publisher: Insurgent Games
Release Date: November 11, 2009 (v1.6)
Price: $1.99 US/CAN
iTunes Rating: 4+