Sky Force Attack HD – Great Elements Combined

Sky Force Attack IconSky Force Attack HD is a 2D arcade shoot-em-up game, developed by Azure Labs.  It has great graphics and simple controls, and it’s available for Android powered devices. It’s fast to immerse yourself into the game and the intuitive controls will make you feel like you’ve been playing this game for years, even though you just installed it.

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Dive right into it

In the game you take control of a fighter plane and fight your way through waves of enemies, ultimately fighting the boss, in order to clear the stage and move on.  In order to pass the stage, the player must complete three out of four tasks assigned. Most often those include destroying a set number of enemies, surviving the course without getting hit, or collecting a set amount of coins.

What I really liked about the game right from the start, is that it doesn’t have a long intro, or a menu with dozens of options you must choose before actually getting to play the game.  Once you start the app, there is only one option, and that is to start the game.  I get the feeling that it was designed for people on the go, mostly in public transportation, because the plane flies as long as you keep your finger pressed against the touchscreen. Move your finger to the side you want the plane to move.  Lift your finger, and the game will pause within the next couple of seconds, prompting up the pause menu.

Simple controls

Sky Force Attack HD Screenshot

This type of in-game controls is something I’ve never seen before, and it intrigued me. It’s very simple, creative and useful for people who, for example, have to use the other hand to hold the handle in a bus.  However, it also has a downside. There are certain types of enemies that are fixed to the ground, and if you miss them, as you move, they will end up behind you and firing.

It’s very hard to dodge missiles that you covered with your finger and can’t see where they’re flying. And if one of your assignments is to stay untouched, that can be quite a nuisance.  Adding an option to control the movement of the plane using the device’s gyroscope might prove useful in this situation.

Spend your money the right way

The game has an in-game currency that has been implemented in the most natural way possible.  Every destroyed enemy leaves behind a certain amount of coins (depending on the difficulty of the enemy), and the user must fly over the coins in order to collect them.  Collected coins can then be traded for three different upgrades: a health bonus, a shield, and extra fighter assistants.

Here’s what’s really interesting – to get to the upgrades menu, the player needs only to remove his \ her finger from the display. The game moves into pause mode, and there are the upgrade buttons. One click and you’re ready to go back.  However, I feel these upgrades are too basic. In various games of the same type, players could buy different types of weapons, extra bombs, speed boosts, etc.  I’d love to see more options in the upgrades menu in future versions.

Addictive to the core

Even though it’s fairly repetitive, and some might say too slow for an arcade game, it is fun and can easily become addictive. One aspect of the game that forces players to stay is the progress bar every stage has.  On top of the screen, players can see the progress bar, how long they’ve played and how much longer it takes them to reach the boss. It’s a simple addon, but one that motivates players that might have given up at some point.

When it comes to social integration and achievement sharing, the game unfortunately falls a bit short.  Once the gamer completes a course, he or she are prompted with an option to post a comment on various social media, over e-mail, etc. However, all it does is posts a link to the game’s Android page. There is no high-score list, achievements, or anything else that could make others install the game, or compete with friends.

And given the fact that coins and scores can be collected, I don’t see a reason why a more competitive social media aspect wouldn’t be implemented in the future.  At this point, the game is a single-player, 2D arcade shooter that has great graphics, it’s easy and fun to play.  It has a great virtual economy implemented, it’s fairly addictive and shows great potential to create buzz and a big social media outreach.

I’d easily recommend it to any gamer, be it casual or hard-core, looking for a quick fix.

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