By Chris Picone, 26April 2021
The artwork really grabbed me from the start; all of it but particularly the silhouette of the big walker mechs with the deep red backdrop. It really set a gritty, ominous tone – plus, I’m a sucker for mechs. More importantly, everything was delightfully retro and the planes reminded me of Raiden, an old favourite. Got me hook, line, and sinker.
There’s no story, but it’s one of those games where that doesn’t matter. It’s a straight-up retro arcade shooter. Shoot the baddies, rack up some big scores, unlock some upgrades, then straight back into it again with a better ship and some new weapons. Likewise, controls are simple; move, shoot, special ability. Now I’ve played plenty of top- and side-scrolling shooters but this one plays more like Rogue Ace, which I’m not particularly familiar with, so I found the different movement style refreshing. There’s a good range of enemies, and sometimes you’re the prey instead of the hunter. The initial goal is to beat a range of challenges in order to unlock new weapons and ships, which give you a sense of purpose and make the game challenging instead of nigh-impossible.
So, my first impression? Broken Sky does exactly what it says on the box: It’s a retro arcade shooter with some sweet aesthetics. A series of challenges and frequent ship and equipment upgrades keep the game moving and by then you’re hooked and gunning for the high score. Very moreish.