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- Skyroads X-mas Edition [EDITION] - 1994
Platformer, puzzler, racer, engaging in all ways!
Skyroads is one of the few games that I had access to back when I was a kid, stashed away in who knows what folder of the 386ex of my mum's school. I rarely played it because I generally was exhausted by all the platforming done in Xargon but, if I felt like trying it it sure was a handful! As a genre, to this day it kind of remains singular, as it is a racer but you can have to relate to it as a set piece puzzler; but let me explain. You control a racer that has a limited level of combustible as well as a limited level of oxygen. Your goal is to reach the end of each course with the combustible you have (although later levels allow to refill on your way), hopefully with some air left (if your air supply runs out on your way, you got to recharge). Your vehicle can accelerate, can hop (higher or lower depending on the gravity, and, of course, the distance of a jump also depends on your speed) and it must stay on track, a thing easier said than done because the track is laid out in space and consists of many disparate (and increasingly difficult to figure out!) blocks. Also, some of these blocks can decelerate you or accelerate you, while others can outright kill you. Also, the black void of space lurks at every nook and if you don't have the right speed, don't find yourself in the right spot and don't time your jumps properly, again, it's reloading time. Frankly, the game picks up its difficulty very soon, and the only way to figure it out is to incrementally learn a bit more about the track, hoping that with another run you'll be able to cover just a little bit more of it. Oh, but it's all so satisfying when you finally finish a track. Oh, but don't you worry, the next level is going to be even more difficult (and may I add, devilishly so at times, as the developers spared no tricks to set you off course and have a laugh at you!). So, go on, try it, the cute and colorful blocky graphics will win you over, and then it's off to the races, the sweetest kind of torture and frustration combined! PS. Check out The Christmas Edition for a winterish graphical make do.
How good of a driver are you really?
Man, this game really made my childhood. Unlike most racing games where you have to compete a race by coming first place, Skyroads add a cool arcade element - you don't have to compete against anything but the tracks that are in front of you.The tracks themselves are ingeniously designed and are full of challenge. There are deadly pitfalls that you must jump over and there are no borders or fences at each end of the tracks - if you go too much to the right or left, you will be long falling to the endless spacial abyss. Control and speed are both of the essence for successful gameplay - if you go too slow, you won't be able to make that big jump and if you go too fast, chances are that you will be bumping into some very serious and deadly walls. That said , the game is a world of fun. The are tons of different levels, lots of cool animation and great music - and it's all size of a half of a floppy disc! Go ahead, get the game and engage on a deadly drive.