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About the StoryPlay minigames to get your airship flying, tour the skies, and see what mischief is going on up there.
Champion of the Skies:
Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2019 XYZZY Awards
10th Place overall; 3rd Place, Miss Congeniality - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
An Exercise for the Reader
You can't ever really get stuck in Skies Above
On the surface Skies Above is a different sort of game than the limited-parser puzzlers we've seen from Arthur DiBianca in the previous three IFComps. Yet in some important ways I don't think Skies Above actually is all that different from Arthur's previous work. In fact, both the similarities and the differences between Skies Above and Arthur's last three IFComp games have convinced me that one of Arthur's overarching goals as an IF author is reducing the unfriendliness of the parser.
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The Gaming Philosopher
iBianca has clearly drawn inspiration from Superluminal Vagrant Twin, giving us a world of free movement between lightly implemented locations, limited tasks that can be performed at each of them, and a grind towards a large amount of currency. There are differences with SVT too, the two most important of which are that Skies Above is based around minigames that all involve timing or sequence; and that Skies Above is a time management game, in which you have to figure out what the most economical assignment of tasks in any given day is going to be.
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
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This is a big game, DiBianca's largest (except perhaps for The Wand). I played it for well over 2 hours (maybe 4 or 5) while beta testing, although I was trying to be exceptionally thorough.
Basically, the game is full of little minigames which give you better and better rewards as you understand them better and as they synergize. Your airship captain gives you goals to hit and you do them. There's an economy that grows in scope over time, and a lot of little lovely surprises.
There are puzzles here, but not in the traditional sense. It's technically possible to win just by doing the simplest of tasks over and over and over. The real joy here is in optimization, similar to Sugarlawn from this year's comp.
Strongly recommended, and lots of fun!
I must say that when I first started playing the game, one of the first "mini-games" seemed a bit repetitive. However, the game quickly opens up with very varied gameplay and you gain routine so that you can quickly finish the repetitive jobs. So even if the game may not impress you to begin with, carry on. This game is really good!
Even though there is a sort of ending, the game can apparently continue forever it seems with a list of achievements and some mysterious objects you can obtain if you keep playing. You can never die and the the game has a limited parser, so guess-the-verb is never an issue.
I played for about 4 hours before I was satisfied, but I could have continued for a long time without seeing everything there is to see. I highly recommend this game.
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Recommended ListsSkies Above appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Best fantasy games by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that include some sort of magical or fantastical element. Games with mostly horror or sci-fi elements are on other lists, as are surreal games, fairy tale/nursery games, and religious/mythological games. I've...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Skies Above:
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Games of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Puzzles of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Puzzles in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Innovation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
This is version 16 of this page, edited by Victor Gijsbers on 10 May 2020 at 1:19pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item