Thursday, November 1

Review: SkyTime [Nintendo Switch eShop]


As a general rule I really do try to keep an open mind with indie titles, look for the positives, and work to identify the target audience for a given title to give it a fair shake. That said, there are just sometimes games that come along that are either so broken, bad, or generally un-fun that I struggle to give them a fair shot without constantly reflecting on the minutes or hours of my life I won’t be able to get back sitting through them. SkyTime is one such title.


After being introduced to what’s happening with a ridiculous premise that then has no real bearing on the action that follows at all you’ll be thrown into playing with minimal direction. After a few moments of experimenting and dying you’ll get the hang of things, thankfully the lack of depth in the controls and concepts makes working it out simpler. You can jump, you can awkwardly aim and throw a wrench (which will pop back in your hand magically if you tap the button again), and you can utilize a temporary slow down mechanic that will let you do Matrix-esque jumping… just keep in mind it’s limited and on a cooldown.


As a rule games that involve platforming in 3D from a first-person perspective are a bit awkward and unnecessarily challenging as you need to keep an eye forward to see where you’re going but at the same time you want to look at where your feet are going. SkyTime does an excellent job of illustrating this problem, especially when either trying to land in slow motion or more critically when you’re in the air and transition from slowed time to normal. To make matters worse expect to get stuck on objects and come to terms with what would generously be called “quirky” physics while you’re in the air.


Here’s the thing, I’ve played a lot of indie games, including ones that have been in various states of readiness for prime time. Most games that turn out great at least show glimpses of what works through the bugs and hiccups, even early on. SkyTime is a game that has been released on the Switch as a completed product that is intended for people to purchase. Being blunt, I’ve played weekend Game Jam titles that have felt more polished and complete… this was an exercise in aggravation. If you want a game in this style spend the extra bucks (or wait for a sale) and pick up ClusterTruck, a game that is more diverse, interesting, and better implemented. SkyTime is a waste of time.


Score: 3

Pros:
  • It’s dirt cheap

Cons:
  • Wonky physics
  • Unrefined in its looks and gameplay, with reused assets absolutely EVERYWHERE
  • There are simply too many great games on Switch to be playing this