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Sky Force 2014

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

A bit forced

Product: Sky Force 2014 | Publisher: Infinite Dreams | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Sky Force 2014 iPad, thumbnail 1
There are moments when Sky Force 2014 bares its teeth and shows you how good it could be. When it's at its sharpest, dallying close enough to bullet hell to be almost indistinguishable, this top-down shooter is a riot.

It has neat ideas, some gorgeous-looking graphical flourishes, and an upgrade system that means your ship is getting better as your fingers get more nimble.

But there are also moments when Sky Force cowers. There's an air of grind to proceedings, and quite often you'll find yourself blasting away at the same wave of fighters over and over again.

Those moments of near-greatness make the lapses back into mediocrity all the more galling. Rather than just enjoying what the game has to offer, you'll find yourself frustrated at the thought of what might have been.

Shoot out

The game is a one-finger shooter that sees you weaving through waves of bad guys, blasting them down with your automatically-firing cannon.

You start off as a super-powered pilot who belts out rays of death and can take a beating, but after a couple of minutes you're relegated to a basic ship that you need to upgrade yourself.

The shift is pretty jarring. You go from dealing out death with a cackle, to pew-ing out measly little bullets that don't look like they'd dent a plant pot.

The first level proper is a simple affair, but you'll end up grinding through it at least a couple of times to unlock the next one.

You need medals to progress, and simply getting to the end of a section and blowing up the boss isn't enough. Didn't kill enough of the bad guys, or took too many hits? Back to the start of the level with you.

A little plane

Amidst this frustration there are some bright lights. Hostages are dotted around the levels and you can rescue them by hovering nearby. It adds some tension to proceedings, because dodging too far away cancels the connection. Grabbing all of them usually unlocks a medal as well.

The boss battles are where the violence is at its finest. You're weaving through showers of neon projectiles trying to target small cannons on the back of huge ships. Reach a boss with low health and the tension is almost palpable.

But it's when you reach them for the second or third time that things start to lose their sheen. Arcade games are supposed to be instant, and the back-tracking and repetition really damages the flow of the game.

You want to be leaping to the next battle, continuing your legend by shooting some more stuff until it explodes. Instead you have to traipse back over the same escapade you just finished. It's like telling a story twice at the office party.

Shot through

Sky Force 2014 fizzles rather than explodes. There are bad ideas littered through the game, from a wait-timer for your upgrades to a block of regenerating lives that you chip away at as you play.

It all feels like it's designed so you take as long as possible to get back to the super-powered killing machine you were at the very start of the game.

And that's a real shame, because those glittering moments of creative carnage are something to savour.

Sky Force 2014 is a middle of the road shooter in a world where bombast and spectacle rule the roost.

It's not terrible, and you'll probably find something to enjoy in its pretty levels, but you'll spend your time with the game longing for a game with a little more bravado.
Sky Force 2014
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 5 June 2014
A game that sparks occasionally but never manages to catch fire, Sky Force 2014 is a pretty average shooter in a world where that's not good enough
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Aug 2014
Post count:
@ranggacokelat | 04:47 - 9 August 2014
Sky Force 2014 is a middle of
the road shooter in a world
where bombast and spectacle
rule the roost.
Jul 2013
Post count:
AllanAR | 00:50 - 18 July 2014
This review nails it. Great presentation but poor, grindy gameplay. 6 was deserved and the correct mark to give.
Dec 2012
Post count:
Achim Heidelauf | 11:14 - 11 June 2014
...is this review a joke? You can not give this 6 out of 10. It looks and plays like a gem and the f2p mechanics are absolutely okay! Just be smart and play and perfect the levels you are okay in. Do not die and you wont loose energy to continue playing.

Grinding is the fun of it... play until you are perfect in a level. And THEN you get the reward of unlocking later stages... I dont see *anything* bad in this.

Tell me one shooter (NOT bullet hell crap, but a well balanced one) that is MODERN and as great please. Just one! ...and don't start with Raiden, which I love a lot, but really regard as outdated.

Aug 2010
Post count:
Funem | 08:40 - 6 June 2014
The timers that got the most complaints in beta are still there. You buy an upgrade and the more powerful it makes you craft the longer it takes to "install" the upgrade to you craft, 5min, 10min, 20min etc.... you can pay to bypass the timers in stars though but you don't earn them that fast when you first start. This was moaned about in beta but the devs stuck with it even though alternative options were suggested.

Oh and you have 10 crafts which also decrease numbers as you play, you then have to wait for them to replenish. IAP's for remove adverts (
Dec 2013
Post count:
PoloBaquerizoH | 02:12 - 6 June 2014
This game has IAP and is a great game on its kind, the IAP made it more worth playing