Sky Force: Anniversary is a top-down aerial shooter from Infinite Dreams. Inspired by classic games in the genre, Sky Force weighs itself on its use or solid mechanics and upgrade systems.
There are nine levels each with three levels of difficulty. As you progress, enemies become more of a challenge, but your rewards increase as well. Each stage has the same objectives; destroy everything, save all the stranded people and don’t get hit. You are awarded medals when completing these objectives that are necessary for progressing forward.
Aside from those you are graded on a point based system that is posted to the leaderboards. Destroying enemy ships and planes awards you stars, which is your currency for upgrading your own plane. Upgrades include increases to max. health and shields, weapons like your cannon and misses and special weapons like a laser and artillery bombs. The latter use ammunition, so you will need to re-buy them if you plan on using them again.
In the past few years, there has been an increasing trend in the number of titles found within this genre, leading to a vast amount of competition. However, I can safely say I had the most fun with this game. It’s simplistic, yet challenging and with each level completed, you feel accomplished. Enjoy the EDM-style music and blast away. Don’t have enough medals to progress? You can farm levels for stars and get the crucial upgrades you need.
The only factor that takes away from the challenge is that the level layouts are predetermined and after only a few runs you memorize the enemy layout, taking away the surprise. The difficulty only increases the rank of the enemies, in that they deal more damage to you. This fairly lacklustre means of upping the difficulty but not altering the way I played meant that I was left feeling pretty burnt-out after a while.
If you had a check list for criteria devs had to meet for games like this, each one would be checked for Sky Force, but that’s it. There’s nothing really extraordinary about this title. It’s a good shooter and includes all the expected components.
Overall Sky Force: Anniversary is a fun arcade-shooter you can play to kill some time and knock out a few achievements in the process, but it’s easy to get burnt out so it’s best played little-by-little.