Sky Force 2014 Review
- Fantastic 3D visuals and lighting effects
- Responsive controls
- Pulse racing bullet hell action
- Currently free thanks to unobtrusive advertising
- Unlocking later levels is a challenge
- Grinding for stars is a little slow
It may not reinvent the genre, but Sky Force 2014 is one of the best shmups on the App Store and a must for all shooter fans.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
The original Sky Force came out on mobile devices in 2004. It was a great looking mobile game for its day, and fantastic shooter to boot. Now, a decade later, Sky Force 2014 is looking to do the same again with the benefit of modern tech.
Sky Force 2014 retains the tight shmup combat and vertically scrolling levels of the original. As before, you must attack approaching targets, while trying to avoid the halestorm of bullets the game throws at you.
A responsive one-to-one control system has your craft hovering just above whichever finger you are using to steer the ship. This allows you to clearly see the action in front of your ship, giving you a better chance of spotting and avoiding oncoming fire.
Stages are punctuated by behemoth like bosses. These all look stunning in the game's 3D engine, with the grubby combat damage really popping from the screen . From huge planes to battleships, these fights unfold in stages, requiring you to destroy every one of the titan's multiple weapons to win.
To ensure you fully master each level there is a medal system. These medals are earned by finishing a stage while defeating a percentage of foes, taking no damage, and rescuing all of your allies from the field. The added difficulty this provides is not just for bragging rights, either, with later stages quickly becoming blocked off if you haven't earned enough silverware to progress.
Powering-up your weapons is also vital to netting medals. Stars collected in levels can be used to increase the effectiveness of your arsenal, and buy new weapons. From shields to smart bombs, there are a huge range of powers on offer, though often you will need to monotonously grind through levels to earn enough stars for any given improvement.
Sky Force 2014 is a fantastic shooter, both in terms of look and combat. While the grind may make it a little slow at times, this is a stylish and revitalised old-school shooter that’s at the top of its class.