Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Shooty Skies Review
Shooty Skies is what happens when you cross the distinct 3D-blocky visuals of the popular Crossy Road with the general gameplay of a vertical shoot ‘em up! Developer: Mighty Games Group is the team behind this free-to-play iOS game, that’s welcome to all ages and demographics.
Although Shooty Skies has a very similar aesthetic as compared to Crossy Road, the gameplay is different, since it isn’t based around the classic game Frogger, unlike Crossy Road. In Shooty Skies, it’s your task to take to the skies your plane, or in some cases an Eagle, and get as far as you possibly can to get the highest possible score by killing and dodging anything in front of you.
Speaking of things that could appear in front of you, almost every enemy you could come across tends to be a rather cute, stylized version of whatever they’re trying to imitate. Some of the enemies you encounter are quite interesting actually, as sometimes you’ll face literally just a cat video shooting at you, or a “hipster” that appears to be shooting coffee and various other items.
Controls in this iPhone game is not too difficult to get the hang of, honestly. Place your finger on the screen and your plane will proceed to shoot, and if you move your finger the plane will follow wherever you’ve dragged yourself over to, while still continuing to fire. Let go, however, and your plane will no longer fire and will instead start to charge up, which is indicated by the growing blue light at the front end of your plane. Once you feel the plane has charged up enough, you just place your finger back on the screen and you will shoot out a number of homing rockets that tend to decimate your enemies rather quickly. The caveat to that though, is the fact that you can’t dodge any bullets or enemies coming towards you, so you’re going to have to decide on whether to stop and charge, or just dodge out the way to keep yourself safe.
Shooty Skies has in-game currency that can be used to buy one of two things available to you: new characters, and weapons. New characters are purely visual, but they don’t always just change the character you’re playing. Some characters actually change the plane you’re using, as well as the background to the stage that you’re on, to keep things fresh for the player. Weapons will upgrade your plane from the start of your next run, until the end of it, and it won’t expire during your run. However, you only get these weapons on a timed basis. There’s no one time purchase for different guns, but only a price tag to rent them for a couple of hours.
I don’t initially have a problem with the guns being rentable only, but the issue I do have with it is that they are way too expensive for an item you only get for 2 hours at maximum. The most expensive weapon is 1000 coins, which is exactly double what a character costs! It’s no doubt that weapons should be cheaper when you compare the price-to-time ratio that this iPad game has got going on for them.
Thankfully, currency in Shooty Skies isn’t too difficult to collect, since the majority of the enemies that you will face tend to drop a coin for you; something you’ll begin to appreciate when the iPhone game throws many enemies at you, with a nice little bonus of some free extra cash to go along with them.
Soon enough, you’re going to get to the end of the stage, and there you’re going to take on a boss. Unlike the previous enemies you’ve encountered, this guy is a whole lot bigger in terms of scale and has a much chunkier health bar for you to get and knock down. The boss is never really difficult to hit, but it can be a little difficult to dodge, as at times he likes to get really quite close to you and then proceed to fire a three shot blast towards your general direction. When it’s that close, there isn’t so many places you can go to get out of the way. Manage to get through the bosses onslaught of bullets and actually kill it, then you’ll be rewarded with a nice little boost to your score.
Now, it’s all well and good collecting a bunch of coins, and riding around on an Eagle as a Hipster Whale that shoots out homing coffee filled cups, but, you’re here for the high score. With every kill you get, that will be one extra point towards your score in the top left, and your goal as the player is to get that to the highest possible number you can before you die. Once you’ve slipped up and effectively bit the dust, which let me just assure you, will happen, you’ll be awarded your final score, and that score will be added to a total that goes towards opening a mystery chest. Eventually, you’ll hit that total and you will get to see what your mystery chest is keeping inside; be it a new weapon, or some extra cash. Either way, it’s nice to get a bonus, just for playing the game.
Shooty Skies does something that not many free-to-play games seem to get, and that’s to not put in-app purchases in your game, or at the very least ones that restrict content. In-app purchases in the game just resort to you paying for a character of your choice with real money, but these are almost all characters that you can just get from the machine that picks out a random character when you pay for it. I say almost, as the fact there’s one character that costs around triple the price of a regular character that you can get without paying for and who permanently doubles the amount of coins you get from killing enemies. It’s quite a pricey character and doesn’t really seem all that worth it, but thankfully it’s hard to find a problem with the character other than the price tag and the exclusivity, since the double coin drop will only go towards unlocking new characters, or temporary weapons. If it doubled the score, then there would be a serious issue in terms of balance and just how fair purchases like that are, but that is not the case, thankfully.
Overall, Shooty Skies is a fun arcade game to play, that won’t force you to spend any more than a few minutes at it at a time, unless you are exceptionally good. The graphics you may have seen before, but that doesn’t stop how good they look, especially when you take into consideration just how colorful they are.
Summary: Shooty Skies easily succeeds in what it wants to be, and that is to be a fun, humor, arcade shoot ‘em up. With easy to learn controls, fun and colorful visuals you can’t help but like, combined with challenging gameplay, you’ve got yourself an iPhone and iPad game that’s hard to not recommend.