One of my first forays into gaming was with a top-down shooter game called Flying Tigers, which my dad constantly tells me is the best video game he has ever played. It was mostly because of the fact that the game’s goal was very simple: shoot everything, and on top of it the only controls you needed were those that were required to move (you automatically kept on shooting). It’s an excellent game and on many counts, is still fun to play. How is it relevant to this review? If you liked Flying Tigers or any of its kind of top-down shooters, you are going to love Really Big Sky.
Boss Baddie’s second game in the Big Sky series (they do not have a storyline as such, but it is a sequel of sorts), Really Big Sky is a blast to play from get go. The visuals are crisp and colorful, bordering on the edgy and epileptic. Unlike other randomly generated level games, Really Big Sky does not look somewhat unfinished, working practically like buttery smooth toast with the enemies, your ship and the satisfying explosions. Much of the levels’ time consists of you shooting colorful lasers and blasters at your enemies and collecting odd power-ups, evading asteroid fields, fighting bosses and pummeling planets with your drill before dying in an altogether dramatized explosion.
Dying is a core part of this game, because there are no health bars to speak of. If you touch an enemy laser, you’re dead. While this makes the first attempt, where the player is assaulted by both enemies on screen and the brilliant fountains of color from the screen itself, terribly hard, it also gives the player the opportunity to convert the points accumulated in the level into cash to buy power-ups such as improved blasters and adding on a shield. Accumulating more points, skills and kills unlocks other game modes such as boss-only, retro, arcade and others.
Drilling is also a very important point of the game. Your ship features a drill that you can activate by pressing a key. This stops the automatic shooting, but allows you to drill through a planet’s core, getting point multipliers, speed increments and other such bonuses. On top of that, while you are using the drill, your blaster gets more powerful for a short while of use because of the pressure build-up. Seriously, that is the explanation given.
While it is a generally fun game to play, Really Big Sky suffers from some minor issues. First and foremost being that the Esc key exits the game without confirmation, and there is no pause button. This led to many hair-tearing moments when I, at a humungous score, had to leave the game for a moment and inadvertently pressed the Esc. key, thinking it would pause the game. It ended the game, instead.
Much of the game and the bonus power-ups are not explained at the start, leaving you to understand, through trial and error. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in my book, it may be so for others.
Whereas at the start of the level it looks rather harmless and even easy, the game gets progressively tougher fitting closer to an exponential graph rather than a linear one. The game is very addictive, nevertheless, and the adrenaline pumping soundtrack in the background makes it quite a lot of fun to survive waves upon waves of ships, asteroids, planets, bosses and space dinosaur skulls (I am not kidding)
You can buy Really Big Sky from a number of places for about $7.99. Go get it!