Squid Skid tells a tale of two brothers just like any other: Sometimes they're the best of friends, sometimes they drive each other up the wall, and, naturally, the younger of the pair believes himself to be a squid when he is very much an octopus. What, don't all little brothers do that? But a bunch of squid-napping sailors have scooped up the smaller, slightly silly cephalopodian sibling and trapped him on their fishing ship. Good thing he's got his big (very big) brother in his corner! You'll have to release the Kraken! to, well, release the Kraken in this sliding block-flavored puzzle game from Wingon Studios. Rock the boat with the might of Big Bro's enormous tentacles, powered by the [arrow] keys, and slide Little Bro's cage to the key. True to the game's name, he'll keep on skidding until he hits something. And if you want that key, he's got to land dead on that sucker! Heh. Sucker. Get it? It's an octopus joke. Squid Skid has a lavish and eye-catching attention to detail, from the way the whole playing field tilts when you take action, right down to the adorable squid-shaped cursor. It's a pretty coat of paint, but thankfully, it's more than just camoflage for an everyday Sokoban game.
The game also features a nice array of obstacles to mix up the proceedings, such as mine carts that follow along specific tracks (on a ship? Your guess is as good as mine), and TNT crates that explode when they touch burning coals. By making you manipulate your surroundings as deftly as your cage, the game makes it levels far more interesting and involved than just "slide from here to there". The difficulty curve is actually fairly gentle, however. Although some levels can be failed by accidentally sliding your brother off the ship, there are very few where you can get "stuck" and are forced to restart, meaning there's little frustration. The game does encourage you to complete levels quickly and with limited moves by way of a rating system, but those ubiquitous three-star rankings aren't just for show! In a nice touch, they're actually used as part of the progress, and unlocking later levels requires a certain number of stars first. With enough stars, you can even skip over levels you're having trouble with! It helps you progress more quickly through the game while still providing incentive to find the swiftest solutions to every level. If you beat every stage, the game even rewards you with an extra challenge in the form of mirrored levels. Squid Skid is an easy-enough puzzler to be accessible to newbies, but it's got enough tricks and enough shine to keep even die-hard puzzlers entertained.