Hop on your surfboard and soar above the clouds in this fun little 3DS eShop title. SkyPeace is a simple game that's all about quick reactions to score big and avoid enemies.
SkyPeace is played by controlling either Surf or Pure who are two oddly named kids that surf above the clouds to collect treasure. Why do they do this? No one knows since there's no story to be found in the game. Controlling these tykes is simple as all you must do is move them between positions on a 3-by-3 grid. There is no shooting at all although the game looks like a shoot 'em up. Players can use either the D-pad, Circle Pad, or face buttons to move their character. This option is a welcome feature as different gamers will have their own preferred method of playing. The controls are precise and responsive and fit nicely for a game that's as fast as this.
The presentation of SkyPeace goes above and beyond what one would expect from a little downloadable 3DS game. The sense of speed as you soar through the stages is intense and the character's animations emphasize this as they try to keep their balance and their hair and scarves rapidly flutter in the wind. The 3D capabilities also add to the excitement as you can clearly see the different layers of clouds swiftly moving at the bottom of the screen. Players can also distinguish foregrounds and backgrounds quite easily with the 3D slider all the way up which ends up making the game easier as opposed to some other games where the 3D can get distracting. The music is cheerful, upbeat, and adds to the fun nature of the game. Sound effects help the player perceive events and coming danger quite well although the sound effect of collecting the constant stream of hundreds of coins is quite loud and frequently drowns out the music and more crucial sound effects. There are no options in SkyPeace so there is no way of remedying this problem.
SkyPeace consists of 10 short stages and a Drill Stage. The Drill Stage acts as the game's tutorial and will explain all of the basics in an effective and interactive way. The following 10 stages will increase in difficulty as the player progresses. The stages either take place during the day, sunset, or night and the only thing that graphically sets them apart other than this is the topography that can be seen between clouds and in the background. Each stage is filled with coins and players will try to collect as many of them as they can. Your score multiplier will increase as you collect more consecutive coins and avoid enemies. Being able to score big requires a lot of skill although the stages are defined so you can always play them over and over again to memorize their layout and take some of the challenge away. It would have been nice to see some randomization when it comes to stage layout in order to add more challenge.
Besides coins, players can collect jewels that reward extra points upon stage completion, shields that allow the player to get hit once undamaged, and power-ups that make the player invincible for a brief period while they automatically collect all onscreen items. Power-ups are provided to the player by the character who the player isn't currently controlling which is a nice touch. You will also come across rare collectables that include Cosmic Cubes, Dream Flowers, and UFOs. Obtaining these is challenging and rewarding. Players will encounter an increasing number of different enemies such as ones that fire lasers, become translucent, and fly in a wave formation. These enemies can be dealt with by flying through a tornado that gives a little boost and tackles all of the enemies that the player touches while in effect. Otherwise, all enemies should simply be avoided.
Players are assigned a rank depending on their score upon completing each stage. Only SkyPeace experts can achieve S ranks on every stage so players' efforts and persistence are rewarded. There are also 50 achievements to unlock that mostly involve skill with a few requiring some grinding. These are quite fun to go back and try to obtain after completing the game. If you're the kind of player who enjoys improving their score and unlocking achievements then you will find quite a lot of replay value in this otherwise short game.
SkyPeace is a brief game that doesn't fail to impress with its simplicity and strong graphical presence. Players will enjoy its simple yet challenging gameplay and most gamers will find some replay value in attempting to beat their scores and unlock achievements.
- + Very simple yet challenging gameplay will put any gamers' reactions to the test
- + Great graphics, animation, and 3D effects
- + Achievements system adds some replay value
- - Only consists of 10 short stages
- - Persistent sound effects drown out music and other audio cues
- - Memorization takes some challenge away