Magichnology is running an Indiegogo campaign for the “Zelda-like” action adventure game Forward to the Sky. Despite some issues, it has fun mechanics and a cheerful, adventurous atmosphere, and I look forward to seeing the finished product.
Forward to the Sky stars a little girl who runs around in a castle-like environment in the sky and kills reanimated skeletons that I like to imagine were once little boys. I had some gripes about the controls; whenever you attack, you attack in the direction the camera is facing, not in the direction the character is facing. It’s also a bit awkward to manoeuver using WASD and the mouse as in a typical first-person shooter, but that’s mostly just the result of using a keyboard and mouse to play a game designed for a game pad.
In addition to smacking undead things about with a giant sword, Forward to the Sky has puzzles and platforming, and the two interact quite well. There was a part that involved hitting the right switches to move platforms around so I could get to a new location, although I hope the puzzles get more complex than figuring out which two of the three switches I need to hit. Whenever I hit a switch, I can clearly see what it does because it happens right in front of me. It’s amazing how many games frustrate me by making me flip a switch or press a button and then wander around through the level trying to find the secret door it opened.
The platforming has all the polish of a game in alpha, but when it works, it works like a simplified version of the greatest PS2 platformers. There are no double jump or mid-air attack to stay in the air longer, but it is also devoid of annoying magnetic assistance features and invisible walls. Speaking of walls, all of them seem to be weak against gigantic swords. If I wanted to see what was on the other side of a wall, I smacked said wall a few times and jumped over the pile of rubble left in its place. It was a refreshing change after all the games populated by buildings and furniture that seem unaffected by rockets and grenades.
Forward to the Sky has a bright, cheery, cartoonish art style and soundtrack, but it’s not the kind that makes me sick and long for a darker, grittier game. It gives the impression that you are a young adventurer at the beginning of an epic tale in which the sky is the limit. With its platforming, combat, and bright music and visuals, Forward to the Sky reminds me of a 3D version of Maplestory without the bugs, hackers, fetch quests, and pretty much everything else that made Maplestory suck. I’d like to see different environments because grey stone seems like it would get old fast, so hopefully Magichnology adds some grass, bricks, trees, and more natural-looking stone to change it up. Despite that, the game looks promising.
Forward to the Sky is scheduled for release late this year for Windows, Mac, and everyone’s favourite penguin-endorsed OS. If you’re interested, please check out its Indiegogo page and consider contributing.
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