Forward to the Sky
Gameplay 4
Graphics 7
Sound 6

Help a sword-wielding princess take on the skeletal enemies and traps of the sky tower in this third-person title by Animu Game. The visuals and audio are decent, but the game is just way too short and simple. It can be completed in less than two hours and most of it will be spent solving some basic puzzles along with the occasional bit of combat. With a bit more polish and a few more levels Forward to the Sky could have been great, but as it is there are much better options available.

Gameplay: The controls could definitely have been tighter and the overall experience is very short.

Graphics: Bright and colorful, but not much in terms of variety.

Sound: Passable background music and voice acting

Summary 5.7 Above Average
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Forward to the Sky

Developer: Animu Game | Publisher: Animu Game | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

In Forward To The Sky by Animu Game, legends tell of a sky tower that is home to an evil witch. The tower was once home to ordinary people who mined the abundance of crystals but were driven out by the witch. Then one day the sky tower re-emerges from the clouds prompting a young princess to embark on a quest to prove herself by defeating the witch. The princess is determined to return the crystals to her people, but once she arrives at the ruins of the sky tower, she discovers that sometimes the legends can be wrong.

The story in Forward to the Sky is revealed by collecting the crystals that can be found on each floor of the tower. For every 33 crystal fragments collected the princess is awarded more memories of the tower’s history. These fragments are obtained by defeating all the skeletal enemies roaming the levels and by destroying the statues that are tucked away. All of this happens in the third person as the princess runs around with a sword that is almost bigger than herself.

Although Forward to the Sky claims to be an action RPG, combat actually plays a very small role in the grand scheme of things. The game also lacks an inventory, skills, or any type of leveling system one would expect from an RPG. Instead, players will spend most of their time guiding the princess through some traps and solving some basic puzzles to reach the hot air balloon that is waiting at the end of each floor. This is then repeated five times before a showdown with the only boss in the game. All of this can be done in less than two hours, although finding all the crystals on each floor can take a little longer.

Visually, Forward to the Sky is not a bad-looking game and it sports colorful, anime-style graphics. The princess is a very cute protagonist and all of her skeletal foes look more adorable than menacing. The entire game is set in the ruins of the sky tower, which makes for very sparse surroundings as everything is floating in the air. This extends to the user interface as well with very basic menus that are lacking in any type of text. The audio is decent, but unspectacular too with some passable voice acting and rather soothing background music. Forward to the Sky can be played with a controller, but for this game, we found that using the mouse and keyboard actually felt better as it is more clunky to move the camera around with an analog stick. The controls consist mostly of attacking and jumping, but the hit detection in the game feels a little off and jumping is also rather floaty. The lack of a block button and inability to cancel out of attacks meant that combat was never as engaging as we would have liked.

One of the things that we liked about Forward to the Sky is that each floor of the tower is home to a new type of puzzle or obstacle. So you might be dodging spike traps on one level while having to deal with spinning blades or gusts of wind on another. There are even levels with switches that invert gravity or allows you to maneuver through laser grids on top of giant boulders. Some of the puzzle elements in the game are quite clever, but it’s a pity that all of them only show up once and are then never seen again. Falling down a bottomless pit will see the princess being rescued by her hot air balloon and deposited on nearby solid ground. However, losing all your health sends you back to the start of the level. Thankfully, the princess has a rather large health bar, which helps with the enemy attacks and damage taken from traps.

Overall, Forward to the Sky feels like a good idea for a game, but it’s over way too soon to really make much of an impact. The story is very forgettable and most players will see what’s coming from a mile away. The short levels, in conjunction with the single boss fight, make Forward to the Sky feel like it is just the first chapter of what should be a much larger game. Even completionists who go back and track down the three hidden statues on each level will breeze through the game rather quickly. It’s a pity as the game definitely had a lot of potential, but ultimately there are better games available in the genre. There is a demo available to try out what Forward to the Sky has to offer, but we suggest that even if you enjoy the demo it is better to wait for a sale before picking up the full game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP+
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities
  • Storage: 430 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+
  • Processor: 1,4 GHz Intel i5, 2.0 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Storage: 470 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0, 256 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 460 MB available space

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