Classic platformers of the 1990s have seen a resurgence lately, with old faces returning to say “Hi!” Here’s a new kid taking them on – we played Super Lucky’s Tale at Xbox’s PAX booth.

Lucky is a very energetic, very foxy hero who has to summon the courage to help his sister rescue the Book of Ages from the nefarious Jinx. If not, their world will be changed forever.

OK, so that’s a pretty standard setup, but Super Lucky’s Tale surprised even this jaded platformed-this, platformed-that gamer. It may look rather kiddy, put it packs a strategic wallop. Plus, it’s fun! Unlike some recent games we could name *COUGH* Cuphead *COUGH*, it doesn’t aim to punish the player at every turn. There’s challenge, but nothing that we encountered in our play session felt insurmountable.

Lucky can carry out the usual run, jump, double jump schtick, but he also packs a spinning wallop with his tail. This can be used for everything from smashing loot receptacles to crushing any of the many adversaries (from rock people to smelly onion creatures and beyond) that he comes across in his travels. His other cool ability is being able to burrow underground – very handy for everything from bolstering the coffers to escaping from baddies.

While thoughts turn to anything ’90s that starred the likes of Crash Bandicoot, Bubsy, Conker, Spyro and contemporaries, what Super Lucky’s Tale reminds us of most is Super Mario 64 – and that’s no faint praise. Launching soon after Super Mario Odyssey on Switch, it’s kind of a shame that little Lucky will most likely be rather overshadowed, as he’s got game. Oh, and lots and lots of puns – even beyond the likes of the vainglorious Lady Meowmalade.

Looking scrumptious in 4K, if you loved any of those great ’90s romps then you really might get lucky with this Xbox One exclusive.

Super Lucky’s Tale will be out and about on November 7, the day the Xbox One X drops.

Pre-order Super Lucky’s Tale at JB Hi-Fi.