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Rogue Sky Review

By , on August 24, 2011


Rogue Sky
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Fun floaty gameplay; easy to pick up controls - tight maneuvering.
  • Maze-like worlds mixed up with unique enemies.
  • Unlockable characters; each with their own distinct traits and bonuses.

CONS

  • Punishing threshold for 3-star runs.
  • Lacks sufficient checkpoints; forces passive and boring 'safe' playing more often than not.

VERDICT

From its vibrant visual style to its simple, yet unique gameplay, Rogue Sky is an interesting experience albeit one tempered with a difficulty level that may leave you frustrated.


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I'm not sure how I feel about controlling evil-looking anthropomorphic hot-air baloons as they pummel their way back home, but then again at least it's a side-step from the usual cute-sy content you see on the App Store. Rogue Sky by Pebble Bug Studios and Chillingo tests your ability to not only navigate maze-like environments, but also your ability to destroy your opponents in the most efficient ways possible to score it large at the end of the level.

You're only given two controls initially - that of a button to push your balloon left or right. Holding both buttons gives you lift, while releasing both will cause you to sink. 'Attacking' is performed by double-tapping a direction and can easily be set off while performing complex maneuvers through tight corridors, making that much harder to reach the difficult three-star score. This is because the scoring system is tied to your 'energy', a power bar that slowly builds up as you collect stars (that also award points), giving a multiplier should you fill up the bar. Sadly, firing your weapons depletes the energy, meaning you'll need to find alternate methods of destruction such as pushing enemies in to dangerous traps.

Enemies can also absorb points you desperately require to earn the stars needed to unlock additional characters ('brothers' in the Rogue family with unique abilities). It's an irritation that is made all the more frustrating when dying resets an entire stage, making any progress you've made all but moot.

However, this is all just window-dressing to the main game of flying up and through cloud-formed mazes while defeating enemies. Just why the hot-air balloons in this world need to look so evil is a complete mystery, but the rest of the world is thankfully far more pleasing with its rich and colorful vistas adding the perfect backdrop to an already slick-looking game.

Should you ignore the side-mission of unlocking your 'brothers', Rogue Sky can be a pleasant and highly challenging arcade experience that feels almost like 'Lander' in reverse. Unfortunately any decision towards unlocking all the stars in the game will be met with stiff resistance, making it a pursuit for only the most hardcore of gamers with a boat-load of patience.

Screenshots

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