You’ve got the world on a string suspended between two rockets
Remember when you were a toddler and snuck out of the house in the middle of the night? Then you hijacked the family car and used it to tour the cosmos all in service of your passion for amateur photography? In Sky Tourist, you’ll navigate cubist floating isles as you perfect your photo trapeze act, the whole endeavor made sweeter by innovative controls.
There’s nothing here in the narrative department, so let’s get into the gameplay. Saying a game feels “new” is a rare privilege, but Sky Tourist‘s main gameplay mechanic really does present like something you haven’t waded through a million permutations of before. Your character hangs from a string tied to Super Mario Bros. 2-esque rocket ships. You’ll engage each rocket independently with your thumbs, causing your camera-wielding kid to gain or lose altitude. Moving one rocket up and the other down allows you to slide your not-pilot along the string, which is how you’ll go about navigating the 2D environments as you move vertically through them.
At first blush you’re likely to assume that the vertical stages scroll on their own, but that’s definitely not the case. Sky Tourist is a methodical affair with no timer, which encourages you to explore every nook and cranny and even backtrack to acquire every item occupying the space. It’s fairly easy to stretch your string too far, thus ending your run, and even though the only penalty for failure is your time and the levels are short, death frustration can accumulate quickly. If you’re put off by games where the primary challenge lies in the controls, unique as they might be, your stint as a Sky Tourist will be cut very short.
It’s a bummer that your character is a boring baby that lacks animations, because the rest of Sky Tourist‘s world is beautiful. Undeniably Fez-esque with a Sanrio twist, the whole affair definitely stands out among iOS peers. Music is only so-so, and likely won’t remain off of mute for too long.
Sky Tourist requires an unexpected amount of patience, but brings an unexpected offering of creativity and visual charm in trade. If you’re looking for something that isn’t another endless runner, animal-flinger, or puzzle solver, and you’re ready to play nice with a demanding control scheme, this skycation is for you.