Black Skylands (PC) Preview

By Josh Di Falco 28.11.2021

Review for Black Skylands on PC

Despite the current movement towards more realistic and graphically-enhancing video games, there is still a devoted niche of developers who work tirelessly to keep pixel-art titles alive. Black Skylands, developed by Hungry Couch Games, is one such title to keep an eye out for in 2020. This a top-down action experience, that blends twin-stick shooter mechanics with RPG elements - plus, there is a chance to take control of an airship to partake in air battles with, and travel to new lands far and wide.

The demo itself opened up with the main hero getting a quest, with a small town to walk around. Though there was only one NPC to talk to initially, with another at the end of the short questline, there is already the possibility that Black Skylands could have a deeper world with plenty of NPCs to chat to, and possibly receive side-quests, as well as main quests from.

A few weapons were available, such as the assault rifle, the shotgun, a sniper rifle, sub machine gun and a grenade launcher. These aren't necessarily all the weapons that will be in the full release, as the publisher tinyBuild is hyping over 20 different weapons and attachments to customise. From the demo, the main character can only equip three weapons at a time to cycle through during battle, however these three slots could be edited via the pause menu. It's interesting to note that in Black Skylands, the pause menu doesn't actually stop gameplay, and enemies could still kill the main character while in this screen - so this is something to be used only when there was a guaranteed safety.

Screenshot for Black Skylands on PC

There were two islands in the air on display, with an airship that allowed for travel between the two. The airship sequences were really fun, with the ship having a much wider rotating arc, with gunners on either side of the ship. Enemy flying ships came in to attack from all sides, and the controlled airship needed to be rotated correctly to allow for maximum use of the gunners. While these controls did take some getting used to, there was nothing that felt out of place with manning that airship. Plus, there are meant to be ship upgrades in the full release, so that should be exciting to play around with. Also, while there were only two small islands in the demo, tinyBuild has hyped that the full release will have over 20 islands to explore.

In addition to the weapons that varied with their fire rate and how much ammo they held, there were also health packs that would regenerate health. Enemies were aplenty, with different variations dependant on which guns they were equipped with. While there wasn't a whole lot of strategy apart from keep moving and avoid getting hit, some foes were noticeably tougher, and took more damage than others. It will be interesting to see how these enemies differ in the full release. Not shown in the demo, but being promoted for the complete title, is a day and night cycle, as well as huge bosses that will probably require the full use of twin-stick shooter mechanics to defeat.

Screenshot for Black Skylands on PC

Final Thoughts

From the short demo of Black Skylands, this looks to be an exciting pixel-art title with beautifully-drawn designs. If the fun-factor is anything to go by, then the end of the year can't come soon enough. Black Skylands released on Steam on July 10, 2021 and it is currently an 'Early Access' title for those who are keen to check it out.

Developer

Hungry Couch Games

Publisher

tinybuild

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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