At first I was a bit surprised to see Chillingo publish a simple free faller game like Sky Hero ($0.99). But given the number and breadth of games it produces in a year, I guess it makes sense.
And as it turns out, the game is pretty fun. Besides, how often do you get chased by a giant fireball with a face and hands? While I don’t feel it brings anything new to the genre, it’s a solid little game that — for the most part — doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The game's premise is simple: you’re a guy trying to escape from a burning building. You’re doing so without the aid of a parachute, and I’m not sure what waits for you should you actually hit the ground.
What I do know is you have several adversaries including saw-blade-toting birds, barrels with moustaches, and spiked balls on propellers. Each bad guy has his own pattern you have to get used to, and it’s not uncommon to face four or five of them at once. It can certainly make for some interesting feats of dodging, especially when you have to deal with weather elements like clouds that impede your visibility. You get two hits before the game is over, but if you collect a power up or speed boost after you’ve been hit once, you get an extra hit.
The game setting is in two locations with 60 missions. That may not seem like a whole lot, but some of the missions can be quite time consuming, and you must complete all three of your current missions before you can move on to the next batch.
If the missions really aren’t enough for you, you can earn 48 Game Center achievements as well as Weather Medals, which I gather correlate to how many times you’ve played the game under certain weather conditions.
Location-Based Weather Conditions
That brings up an interesting feature of the game — the fact that it uses your location to determine the weather that should appear in the game. You might have some trouble getting those “snowy” medals depending on where you live.
The Controls: Tilt, Shift, Tap
You can control your sky hero by either tilting the device or tapping the left and right sides of the screen to move back and forth. There are occasions where tapping the screen doesn’t seem completely responsive, but I still find it a much better alternative to tilting, which just feels very imprecise in Sky Hero.
The only other interaction is having to tap certain power ups to activate them. The visuals are good, although I noticed a contrast between the characters and background. The designs for the bad guys clearly aren’t meant to be taken seriously, which just adds to the charm of the game.
On the other hand, even though it’s not necessarily realistic, you have an ominous burning building in the background which gets more devastated the further you travel.
The sound effects are okay, though I think Chillengo could have done more to accentuate the tone of the game with the noises. The music seems to match the foreboding nature of the background, but it’s pretty decent.
In many of my recent reviews, I have fawned over Chillingo and its ability to publish stellar games. I’m not going to do that here. While Sky Hero is by no means a bad game, it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the competitio. Sky Hero is certainly an entertaining game, and should be enjoyable for anyone that likes infinite falling style game play.
Overall Score: 7/10
This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 6.0.1.