There’s a spirit of adventure mixed with retro top-down sensibilities that has appeal here, but it also has stumbling blocks
I found Black Skylands to be a bit of an odd bird, and while there were aspects of the experience I appreciated I also struggled with others, making for a bit of a tough call on a recommendation. Feeling in part like an old-school RPG and part swashbuckling adventure, you can pretty quickly sense the hook of the experience. One moment you’ll be flying your airship, trying to maneuver and position yourself to take out enemies, the next you’ll be grabbing supplies and traversing gaps, and in another you’ll be trying to engage in relatively primitive combat with enemies. One issue I found is that not all aspects to the experience are as polished as the others. Ship combat can be tricky to really get good at initially, but soon it begins to make more sense and affords you consistent opportunities. While the interface and controls for doing things like managing your supplies you collect can be pretty aggravating at times, and could have perhaps been implemented a bit cleaner. That doesn’t by any means make the game unplayable, just a bit frustrating. Finally, as much as you engage in combat I wish it were a bit less simple but janky at times, tuning what could have been average but workable combat into something that doesn’t hit the same standard as the game does in other areas. If you enjoy some adventure, and are willing to overlook some control issues as possible questions if “Why did they do it this way” there’s still enough here to make it worth a look, depending on your tastes.
Justin Nation, Score: