It’s a one trick pony but it’s at least a fun pony
You are stranded on a strange abandoned planet inhabited by hostile robots. A virus is threatening to destroy the human race and the cure lies within the flora of the planet. That’s about all the story you will get besides a few journal logs. But it’s all the story you need to setup the gameplay. You will collect resources and find repairs to your ship. You will have to survive the harsh environment and return to Earth to save humanity.
There’s a straightforwardness in Sky Break’s gameplay. Collect resources to craft items and upgrade your equipment then rinse, repeat, and move to the next area of the game. As more resources are collected new items become available to be crafted such as different types of ammo and health packs, but also the ultimate goal of finding the cure is progressed. The longer you are away from a safe spot collecting resources the more dangerous and unwieldy the weather of the planet becomes. Although enemies are easier to fight during these storms, the use of the map becomes unavailable and tornadoes and lightning strikes makes the experience terrifying, exhilarating, and disorientating.
The robot enemies encountered, called mechas, can be hacked and turned into an ally that will fight beside you. Also, they can be upgraded in the sky base to make them more worthy in combat. Mechas have a nice, sleek-design each vary differently in look. Ultimately, all the mechas act in the same clunky way. The exception is the “boss” mecha that will pose as a challenge the first time it is fought, but becomes trivial in subsequent encounters. Mecha collection may be one of the shallowest parts of the game, but it’s also one of the most fun.
While there’s many things to craft, I found myself using very little outside basic and heavy ammo for the blaster. The other types of ammo seem expensive and ineffective. Upgrading the ship feels rewarding, but by the time the ship becomes really useful the game is over. Some upgrades feel more powerful than others. There’s not as much choice as it would appear. Crafting ahead of time is pointless as you can craft anywhere and make the things as you need them.
Sky Break has a few things wrong. The UI is a mixed bag. Crafting is easy enough, but using items is slow and clunky. Often times, I used the wrong item or ammo by accident. Spawns of resources will be inside of trees and rocks. The AI of the mechas do funky things in combat. The story feels tacked on as an afterthought. And the game is short (about 4-5 hours), but I’m not sure that I would want it any longer as there is a lack in variety to do. The complaints don’t detract from the game too much.
Sky Break has some problems. I probably won’t be returning to it anytime soon, but it is an enjoyable game. It’s a one trick pony but it’s at least a fun pony. And I would recommend to any survival game enthusiast or anyone who is interested. At price point, Sky Break is a great pickup for a game to play over the weekend.