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Sky Dancer review - Auto-running and cliff-jumping has never been so calming

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Take the plunge

Product: Sky Dancer | Publisher: Pine Entertainment | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Sky Dancer iPad, thumbnail 1
Sometimes video games can help us live out our biggest fantasies, like winning the World Cup, defeating a dragon, or leaping off cliffs while collecting coins and dodging enormous rocks.

If the last one sounds like your deal, then auto-runner Sky Dancer is almost definitely up your street, with coins, leaps, and unfortunate deaths aplenty.

It's a strangely calming game with gorgeous graphics and a compelling twist on the auto-running system, but one that won't hold your interest for very long.

Take to the skies

Sky Dancer sees you running straight forward and off the ends of cliffs into an endless abyss below, steering your character onto floating rocks to keep them alive.

You move left and right by tapping and hold the respective side of the screen, and you can jump by tapping both sides of the screen at the same time.

The controls on foot will be instantly familiar to anyone who's played a runner before, and they're wonderfully responsive, meaning you're unlikely to crash into anything unless you've just not timed yourself right.

Things get trickier in the air, where your movement is a little more sensitive to your touch and you'll be course-correcting almost constantly to make sure you survive.

It's not particularly difficult, but if you're trying to land in the centre of a platform to earn the coveted Perfect Landing bonus points, it can be a little frustrating.

Zen dancing

And that's all there is to it. You run, gather coins, occasionally pick up collectibles, jump from platform to platform, and try not to die.

What makes this so calming is the sparse environment you do all this in, which doesn't bombard your senses, but instead gives you all the information you need in muted colours and smooth models.

The only issue with this is that the draw distance can be a little short – sometimes as you're falling through the thick haze below you'll miss the flash of a collectible, or totally misjudge how close the next platform is.

It's also a bit light on things to do. There's objectives to complete, with point multipliers awarded for every set you complete, and you can unlock new runners with the coins you collect in the game.

But you'll see the same few rotations of the game's platforms again and again in quick succession, and eventually the repetition will settle in and you'll become uninterested in carrying on to unlock later objectives.

Dancing the night away

Overall, Sky Dancer is a charming, beautiful game that will relax you and cause mini heart attacks in equal measure with its gentle environments punctuated with enormous drops.

It won't hold your attention for long, but it has enough going on that the initial moments will have you hooked and unable to stop playing.

Sky Dancer isn't hugely original or clever, but it offers a good twist on the auto-runner formula and is definitely worth a look if you're a fan of the genre.
Sky Dancer review - Auto-running and cliff-jumping has never been so calming
Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley | 20 January 2017
It's light on content, but Sky Dancer is a strangely calming auto-runner with a gorgeous art style
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