It’s actually funny! This is not the first time I am telling you guys that I am not a fan of scary/horror games but yet I find myself playing them. Well I can’t really label Skyhill a true horror game but it has all the ingredients for one and proves to be a really fun play. Skyhill, published by Daedalic Entertainment was released just last month and I am really enjoying it.
Based in a not so far distant future, you play as a man on business trip who decided to splurge and stay in fancy dancy hotel called Skyhill on his most recent job. While there, an exposure occurs which contained life altering affects on people in the blast radius. Humans have been changed into unimaginable creatures that are bent on killing you. You wake up to the mess and chaos around you and are determined to make your way out of the hotel in the hopes that you can escape the area.
In a creative combination of RPG, Point & Click and Survival game genres, you set out on the long expedition downwards starting at floor 100 with the hopes of making it to the 1st floor. It isn’t as easy as it sounds as you have many factors to consider along the way.
You have two main meters you need to pay attention to; your heath meter and your hunger meter. Either one of those meters going down too far can spell disaster of you. Your health, unless you become poisoned, typically only goes down during the RPG style battles you will encounter when you are struck. However, your hunger will go down by at least one measurement each and every time you go from one room to another.
As you explore different areas on your way downwards you will eventually come across enemies. Each enemy has it’s own life meter you need to watch out for. And as expected the lower down the building you travel, the bigger, mean and tougher the enemies become. When you encounter an enemy, you may have the option to turn around and not engage or go ahead and take it on and start the battle. If you chose to fight you then begin the RPG style battle to the death. Typically you will get the first strike and have a choice between 2-3 different attack options. Each attack option presented has different levels of damage as well as a differing hit or miss percentages. The greater the damage, the lower the likelihood of landing a strong hit. You go back and forth attacking each other until either of your life bar has been depleted.
Another thing you want to pay attention to, in true RPG fashion is your abilities. On the character details tab you will see different attributes that you can level up to give your character additional strength, speed, dexterity and accuracy.
The awesome or horrifying aspect of Skyhill is what happens if your manage to be killed or starve to death. If that happens … game over. Yes, no restart from a check point. You start all over again from the top floor and loose everything you did. At first that sounds that a horrible idea, why would anyone do that to us, but after the first few times it actually made a lot of sense and it pushed me to be even smarter and try harder to make my way out of the building each time. Plus it isn’t all bad, because each time you play you are awarded what are called perks. Perks can be activated before you start each game. Those perks will help you progress even fast and further if used wisely. All this to say, the replayability factor is amazing. Not only are you forced to start over each time, the map – or room layouts – are randomly generated. You won’t encounter the same exact rooms, items and enemies in each room every time you play. So you are awarded with a fresh experience each time.
If you are familiar with Daedalic Entertainment and their style then you will know that they have a very clean and crisp animation style that always seems to be fitting for the gameplay. The illustrations of the various enemies you find are very creative with each one being very different from the others.
This is a game that Confident Gamers certainly recommends. It is a fun experience, that you can enjoy several times over. For parents out there considering it for your children, the only caution I have is that there is blood involved as well as fair amount of curse words spoken and written associated with some items you collect along the way (notes and tape recordings).