'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' Review - Crafted Worlds Provide Plenty of Surprises


A creative new 3D multiplayer platformer has landed on Sony's Playstation 5, showcasing the systems power and speed with a bit of DualSense immersion. Sackboy: A Big Adventure takes your titular hero from the Little Big Planet series and puts the tiny bag of beans front and center in a very detailed world made up everyday crafts and household items.

The game itself is highly charming and you can't help but smile as you trek along through the game's early levels. At first, Sackboy appears to be a simple game with basic platforming mechanics, but before even completing the first land of Soaring Summit, you'll find that there are more than enough original gaming mechanics to leave you losing life after life. The shriek that emits from your DualSense controller when your Sackboy plummets off a cliff is more than enough to make you feel a bit guilty about your actions.

'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' Key Promo Art
Sackboy leaps into action to keep the Craftworld from turning into a nightmare zone. Sony / Sumo Digital

The main villain of the game is Vex, a stitched together jester who looks like a cross between Oogie Boogie with a heavy dose of Harley Quinn. Vex is actually a great villain, and when he appears on screen you can't help to be captivated by his overly theatrical delivery of his evil plans. He wants to turn the Craftworld from a happy dream land into a treacherous realm of nightmares, and he's using Sackboy's friends to get it done. Once they build his Topsy Turver machine, it will be too late.

Sackboy jumps right into action without hesitation to save his friends as he traverses crafted lands covered in snow, plunges into the deep blue, or swings through a jungle. The worlds are part of the true delight Sackboy: A Big Adventure provides. The way in which the platforms move and interact with all the various components really makes these environments come to life. Most levels rarely stay on a solid path with the majority zipping and zooming from different directions. Certain levels make you feel like you're riding an attraction such as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in Disneyland. When you see a large tulip flower gesture for you to jump on in, you know you're about to be taken someplace new and challenging.

'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' claw arm
There's many different items available in "Sackboy: A Big Adventure" to help aid you in your journey. Sony / Sumo Digital

Various levels offer lots of different surprises to keep you engaged. Some force you to start off with a specific item to complete the course like rocket boots with a powered-up energy blast, or a zip claw that will help you swing from hard to reach areas and grab those far away items. The boomerang is especially satisfying to whip around at enemies.

When it comes to collectible items, this game has no shortage. Most levels will have you collecting three different pieces of a new outfit to adorn your Sackboy. This part became pretty addicting because I just had to have the entire Las Vegas Singer outfit which forced me to make sure I unlocked everything in that particular stage.

Discovering Collectibells throughout the game is another major way to help you unlock new outfits as your progress. With the advancement to each new land unlocks a few new costumes available for purchase in Zom Zom's shop. Switching outfits before each level is a breeze. If your about to go into a water level, you sort of just feel you can't do it unless you're wearing a Pirate or Deep Diver outfit.

'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' hits the alps
Sometimes it just makes sense to dress for the occasion in "Sackboy: A Big Adevnture." Sony / Sumo Digital

The bulk of the game was completed in close to nine hours, and that does not include going back and unlocking and finding every little secret item. But if you want 100%, be assured that there is more than enough for you to go back and find, including stickers to add to your travel book. Hunting for Dreamer Orbs will be your priority in unlocking further levels and bosses. But be sure to collect as many bubbles as you can in each level to guarantee yourself a high score and a chance at unlocking even more costume parts. For each life you lose, your bubble score will drop. If you find yourself dying repeatedly and the five stock you start each level with not enough, thankfully killing baddies and bashing boxes will sometimes reward you with an extra life.

A key note about gameplay to utilize (even when you die), is that anything you collected prior will still be in your possession. This allows you the freedom to explore a different path to potentially find other items before you complete a level. It may even be wise to forfeit a life if you noticed you missed something.

One of the game's greatest surprises by far is the music. Most game levels have a great score but there is one level in each land with a track that you may recognize. It's a true treat when you realize you're listening to the Weeknd and the whole level and background is moving along and interacting with the lyrics. You will definitely want to be replaying this one over and over and it's a great level to introduce to first time players. You will also be singing this song for the rest of your play session.

'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' moving parts
Grab a friend and team-up for some local co-op puzzle solving in "Sackboy: A Big Adventure." Sony / Sumo Digital

Each new land also has one Teamwork level where you will need two players to get the job done in solving various puzzles. But beyond that, the whole game can actually be played with up to four players with the local co-op. Having a bunch of outfits handy here will be great in helping you distinguish which Sackboy you are in the pack.

Online multiplayer is not available just yet, but will be coming with a future update by the end of December 2020. Players with different system generations will also be able to play together.

'Sackboy: A Big Adventure' reef run
Collecting bubbles adds to your overall score, especially when they are pink for 2X the reward. Sony / Sumo Digital

Overall, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is not the hardest platformer available, but it without a doubt is a very fun romp that will keep impressing you with new surprises and mechanics along the way. It's a welcome addition to your PS5 library in the fact that it gives you a pleasant surprise in showing off the graphics and speed that the console can offer. Even though it's a cutesy style, there are still plenty details filled throughout with the various textures and materials of the crafty land. You should have no problem in beating the game on your own, but you may want a buddy by your side when it comes to hunting and finding every hidden item in the game. It's a great game to pass the controller to anybody where they will know what comes next.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is available now on PS5 and PS4. Which system will you be picking it up for? What outfit are you excited to dress your Sackboy in? Let us know in the comments below.