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Review: Sky Force 2014 – Blasting away the competition

by Wessel Minnie (Sillicur)  Posted Friday, June 27, 2014 8:48:00 AM

 

Sky Force 2014 is the latest version of legendary 2004 mobile blaster that set a new standard in mobile gaming so many years ago. This 10 year anniversary edition improves on every aspect of the original while maintaining the core gameplay that made the game so much fun to play, delivering destructive mayhem at its finest.

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Gameplay and difficulty – Blasting away the competition

The gameplay of Sky Force 2014 at first seems very much like any other arcade style shooter, yet after a few hours of play I came to realize just how deep, addictive and fun the game is, blasting away the competition on the mobile market.  

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Controlling your ship is simplistic in nature. You only use one finger to move around in all directions, with your ship’s cannon automatically firing. Even though this might sound easy, I assure you it is not. Dodging incoming enemies and a wide variety of attacks from both stationary and moving targets become excessively difficult, as at later stages your screen is practically filled with enemy attacks and explosions.

In addition to dodging enemy attacks and blowing stuff up, Sky Force 2014 also adds a gameplay element in which you have to rescue stranded humans. In the chaos, a player has to stand still for a few precious seconds to pick up the poor souls, which adds yet another layer of difficulty and fun.      

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As you destroy the enemy, stars and other power-ups will be left behind. Collecting the power-ups by flying over them has a wealth of benefits, from an upgraded rate of fire, healing for your ship and shields to name but a few. Stars are used to add permanent upgrades to your ship between levels. Upgrades include adding new powerful weapons to your ship to more passive additions such as extra health or rate of fire.

The difficult, fast and explosive gameplay throughout a level is perfectly rounded off by an intense boss battles at the end of each level. The boss battles are varied enough to keep them interesting, filling the whole screen with special attacks and amazing death sequences thanks to Sky Force 2014’s highly upgraded visuals.

Graphics and sound – Absolutely gorgeous  

Sky Force has received a massive upgrade in both visual and audio quality in this latest iteration of the game, creating an absolutely gorgeous environment for the player to blast through.  

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The first thing that took my breath away was the water below, animated so well that I died to the first incoming attack as I was memorized by the level of detail.  As my shipped passed through the first clouds, yet again I was shut down after being distracted by rain and lightning.

Even though the environments you fly over are gorgeous, the star of the show for me is the explosions. Not only do the actual flames and smoke look spectacular, but the level of destruction as the enemy ships break apart is out of this world.

Brightly colored attacks from the player’s ship as well as the enemy litter the screen, creating a spectacular lightning show of absolute cause. The graphical aspects work together in tandem to create something special, a virtual feast for the eyes on your mobile gaming device.    

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The sound effects compliment the destruction so perfectly, as retro style sounds from the player’s weapons compliment loud explosions.

An incredible electronic, up-beat soundtrack completes the package, working together in harmony with the game’s intense battles, wonderful graphics and amazing sound effects to create an audio / visual experience the likes I have not yet seen in mobile gaming.

In App Purchases and Longevity – A breath of fresh air

Sky Force 2014 is a breath of fresh air in the mobile gaming market, as it delivers high replay value and In App Purchases (IAP) that I can actually come to terms with. Generally speaking, I frown upon IAP, especially those that are of high price and give a clear advantage to players who chose to buy something.

Thankfully, Sky Force 2014’s IAP are by no means expensive for the amount of value a player gets and there is no advantage given to a player except a bit of time saving and the removal of adds between levels, which really is not that big of a deal.    

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The longevity of the game, in the sense that I actually keep having fun and want to play the game more and more is in my opinion scarce in the mobile market. Sky Force 2014 has weekly tournaments in unique environments that kept me coming back for more, competing against friends and players in a global leaderboard.

Upgrading my ship and hunting for one of the 25 achievements never felt like a grind to me, as the gameplay is so much fun that it is an absolute joy to completely challenges, unlock new levels and simply blow stuff up!        

Closing Thoughts

Infinite Dreams have outdone themselves with Sky Force 2014. The game is a blast to play, looks gorgeous, has a ton of replayability and has IAP that I can actually stomach.The difficulty might be a bit excessive to some and for the more casual players, which could lead to the game might become a bit of a grind as they try to unlock new levels. That being said, for all intents and purposes Sky Force 2014 is in my opinion the best mobile game released this year.

Sky Force 2014 has been recently released for Android as well as iOS devices. The game is free to download and can be found on iTunes here and the Playstore here. It requires a download of 75mb as well as Android 4.1 and up to play, so if you have a device capable of running it, there is no reason you should not be blasting your enemies away right now.  During my time with the game I used my Nexa Orion 10.1, a powerful yet affordable Quad Core 10 Inch Tablet to rain down destruction upon countless foes in this brilliant blaster!

Score: 9/10

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd  


 
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