William and Sly is back and better than ever! In this peaceful game you play as a fox, named Sly, that must scurry through the forest and snatch pages of William’s journal and put it back together. If you remember the original William and Sly you had to collect mushrooms and eventually defeat and evil boss at the end of the game. In William and Sly 2 is serves as both a sequel and prequel as the pages of William’s journal reflect his thoughts and the retelling of the story of when the William and Sly first met. This unique combination creates a fantastic gameplay element as you’re face with new challenges, but also get to learn of past events that strengthen the storyline. If you aren’t familiar with the mid-2009 game, William and Sly (the original) then fret not, as the storyline of the two don’t match up too much – although I do recommend playing the original, as it is still a fantastic game!

William and Sly 2

William and Sly 2, nor the original William and Sly, are very difficult games. In the beginning of the game you are asked by William to retrieve his 25 page journal and, for fun you can collect 100 mushrooms to show those gnomes not to mess with you! This is a pretty easy task overall and should only take an hour or so. The giant map is a bit of a challenge though. Getting from one side of the map to the other can take a while and sometimes you have to backtrack to find more journal pieces. Finding all 100 mushrooms is a real challenge though and if you want to continue to get lost in this beautiful world then attempt the challenge! Usually mushrooms are hidden in secret caves, which become visible when you bump into them. Unlike many platform games, William and Sly does not include any monsters or foes to battle and this just leaves a fun little exploration game like none other.

Instead of being difficult and challenging, William and Sly, aimed instead at a more calming game that is perfect if you’re looking for a simple, subdue game to keep you company for an afternoon. This has to be the most calming game that I’ve ever played. Everything about the game is geared towards a calming, refreshing atmosphere, from the music to the wondrously illustrated background, middleground and foreground, filled with mountaintops, full trees and forest undergrowth. The game is actually based off of the developer’s childhood when he’d run around in the woods on adventures and I think that this game communicates and executes that reminiscent of childhood perfectly. The game doesn’t give you too many difficult challenges and the way they are present maintains one of which you don’t feel rushed and you can simply enjoy the scenery and beautiful music and get yourself lost in this mystical world.

William and Sly 2

The developer, Lucas Paakh, did everything for the game – yes, literally everything: programming, art, music, et cetera. I have to point out, that like the last William and Sly, the artwork is phenomenal! of course, there is a big different between William and Sly 1 and William and Sly 2. The main difference is shading. Paakh has practically redone all of the art in the game with new high-quality, highly-detailed pieces. The difference between the two foxes alone is stunning and I have to say that William and Sly 2′s artwork is a great improvement over an already beautiful game. The difference between the two games is in the image above, the sequel on the left side and the original on the right side. Another big difference that I don’t believe was in the original was lighting. In William and Sly 2, if you’re underneath a ledge Sly will darker because there is no light and if Sly is to step into the light, he’ll lighten. I really like this feature as it adds more realism to the game.

This game features an amazing sound track! It’s all at the same time eerie, adventurous and mysterious as if a whole new world it waiting out there for you just to explore. I think that it matches the game perfectly. Once again, the music is by the developer and I think that it communicates his memories and the idea of the game very well. Unfortunately, it seems after one play there is a large gap until the soundtrack plays again. Still, the background noise of the birds tweeting accompanies you throughout the forest. I would still love to hear the soundtrack loop again quicker after the first hearing though as it is really sublime.

All in all, William and Sly is a great adventure/scavenger hunt game that helps wrap up this great year of games. I remember playing the original William and Sly and just being amazed by it and this brings back a lot of really good memories! if you like the first game, or just want a nice, calming, adventure game then look no further than William and Sly 2. In review, the difficulty was perfect in my opinion for what Paakh was aiming for. It was a great adventure game that you could play casually and really spend some time just enjoying the scenery and simplicity of the game. The artwork was really good and was a big improvement over the already devilishly handsome William and Sly. Finally, the music had to be one of the greatest sound tracks that I’ve heard in a while, there seemed to be a really large gap until the next time it played. In conclusion, William and Sly 2 is one of the greatest adventure games of the year. If you’re not playing it right now then head on over to Kongregate and fire up the game!

Play William and Sly on Kongregate!