If you ever wanted to play a retro style game that still had enough modern pizazz in it, you might want to give Sky Force 2014 a whirl. Celebrating 10 years of the title, the developers are bringing the top-down shoot ’em up game to Android with some stunning visuals and some clearly modern game mechanics.
Like many airplane-themed shoot ’em ups of a bygone era, Sky Force 2014 puts you in the pilot’s seat of an aircraft charged to fly through enemy skies, blasting lines of incoming enemy aircraft, sea tankers and the occasional giant baddie. Those games were usually played with physical controls like joysticks and gamepads, but in true 21st century fashion, Sky Force 2014 eschews all of those for a purely touchscreen-based model. Simply place your finger on the screen and swipe in any direction you want the plane to go. Firing is automatic so you don’t have to fret about any form of virtual button mashing. The developers call it intuitive, though one problem might be that the plane automatically “attaches” to your fingertip, causing your digit to occlude the plane itself. Fortunately, there is a setting to change that default behavior.
Sky Force 2014 also offers some of the staples of modern mobile gaming. For one, the graphics are definitely not last decade’s and takes advantage of modern hardware capabilities. It uses just enough visual effects and pseudo-realistic rendering to make the game look modern but still have that retro feel to it. Everyone’s favorite weapons upgrade mechanic is also here, letting you win your next set of firepower, or buy them if you can. There are also leaderboards and even weekly tournaments to satisfy your competitive craving.
All of that can be yours now for free on Google Play Store. Unsurprisingly, it has in-app purchases, mostly for upgrades, so if those irk you in principle, you might want to stay away from this game as well.
Download: Sky Force 2014 on Google Play Store