May 21, 2021

Congratulations Pilot, You've Earned Your Wings - Broken Sky (Steam) Review

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TL;DR: Broken Sky is a solid side-scrolling shooter that will make you miss breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner, too!

Flying ace

At a very young age, I was told that my coordination would never be right. Heck, I could barely touch my nose with the tip of my finger without poking myself in the eye, and yet, here I am preparing to top Broken Sky’s leaderboard high score. It’s 8:35 am on a Tuesday morning when I boot up the game and several hours later, my cell phone sends out an alert sayings it’s lunchtime. How can such a tiny little game make me lose so much track of time?

The concept is simple: take the gameplay of defender, add nitrous to it and you have a game that harkens back to the good old days of blast 'em up shooters. As a fellow gamer once told me, "If you got the gameplay down right, then you don't need anything else. No story, no background, no mama, no papa. Gameplay is all you need." And Broken Sky from indie developer Addictive 247 Games, is all I need.

TIP: You have unlimited ammo so keep the fire button pressed at all times

It’s 8:35 am on a Tuesday morning when I boot up the game and several hours later, my cell phone sends out an alert sayings it’s lunch time. How can such a tiny little game make me lose so much track of time?

Mile high flight

Broken Sky's strength lies in its elegant simplicity. Each level is one long vastness of open space in which various enemies spawn and where the player controls a tiny plane with two modes of fire and one for special abilities. The first and secondary modes are where you select your weapons and the third can be used to equip your plane with special abilities like lightspeed to evade incoming projectiles. That's about it in a nutshell. Simple, clean, and very easy to pick up and play.

The gameplay is fast and frantic which treads the fine line between frustratingly difficult and rewarding achievement through patience and diligence. Suffice it to say, Broken Sky is a very challenging game and if you can beat the game and obtain all the achievements in one sitting, consider yourself an old skool-skrolling-shooter master.

Graphically, Broken Sky stays true to its retro roots with a design philosophy that takes you back to the days of bright neon lights of the arcade experience. But that's not to say the graphics are bad either. In fact, the particle effects, the explosions, and the catchy upbeat tempo create an illusion of two worlds colliding - old-school romp and modern-day technology.

TIP: Use your plane's special ability when things get really heated

That's about it in a nutshell. Simple, clean, and very easy to pick up and play.

Nothing Broken here

Despite my praises for the game, several game quirks do pop up here and there. One, since your craft is always forging ahead at a brisk speed, it's often difficult to see enemies coming towards you. There are little blinking indicators at the edge of the screen that warns you of incoming missiles, but they are so small they oftentimes get lost in all of the action. Another quirk I find with the game is that the controls are inverted when you're flying in the other direction which makes controlling your plane a lot more difficult than it should be.

These complaints, however, diminish the more you play and the further into the game you get. And once you get used to the controls, flying becomes second nature. So, if you're a wannabe space pilot looking for some intense action, strap in and hold on, because many hours of shooting adventure await!

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