Ride the sky to the stars, and then collect them.
If you take out the most annoying aspects of Monkey Ball: the actual ball. And then you take the best parts of an arcade racer: the arcade racing. Smash them together with a sprinkle of stars, and you get Skyriders. Short winding tracks that can be replayed over, and over to perfect all the stunts needed to get all the stars is pure brilliance. Instead of having to worry about blasting opponents into small fragments of dust Skyriders is all about agile jumping, split second decisions and crazy speeds.
A level in Skyriders is part of a zone, and each zone is divided into eight levels. That gives you a total of 40 levels. Once you have beaten all levels in a zone you get to play them all consecutively with only one life. Imagine the frustration when I made 97.7% progress just to falter three platforms from the finish line. Usually you can progress to the next zone without beating this challenge level, but somehow this is the real test. A testament to your skill, or lack thereof.
The controls in Skyriders takes some time getting used to. The ship doesn’t move as quickly as you want it to, and that means you have to plan slightly ahead. There is both a touch, and a tilt controls scheme. I usually stay away from tilt controls, but in the case of Skyriders it felt more natural as the constant veering from side to side works really well. The touch controls feel slightly unresponsive, but that might also be due to the fact that I am playing on the iPhone 5. It lacks full screen coverage for the 5, and this gives awkwardness to playing.
Boosts are awarded when you run over boost speed zones, and collect stars of the correct colour. The longer boost streak you get the higher speed, and of course higher scores. There is a cool colour matching mechanic that allows you to change the colour of stars by double jumping. If you try to collect a colour of the wrong colour it is grey, and your speed is diminished as well as the current boost streak.
The strongest aspect of Skyriders is the brilliant presentation that screams nostalgia, and contemporary graphics at the same time. Lots of cool effects, and backgrounds in a truly polished framework make it a true looker in the genre. The up-tempo music also fits the mood, and style of the game. Overall it is hard not to give it another go just to experience what the next zone has to offer.
Skyriders is a polished arcade racer in Super Monkey Ball esque levels. If you are looking for a game to mesmerize you while you are chasing stars it is definitely worth grabbing.
Skyriders $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: David Reed