23rd Jul2015

‘Skyhill’ Preview (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

Skyhill-9

If the apocalypse strikes and the monsters have taken over would the penthouse in a hotel be the best place to find yourself? Skyhill is a game that starts you off trapped in the luxury apartment, with the aim to not only survive but make it the bottom floor, or that is what I’ve been trying to do at least.

A rogue-like RPG set in an apocalyptic-zombie setting, Skyhill feels at first like it is easy and this quickly sucks you in. As you progress and level up though and unlock perks you realise that there is much more to the game than first thought. This in turn adapts the way you play and with its easy interface it is strangely addictive.

It is important to say that this is only a preview, as the game is in development and won’t be released until October. The current state of the game feels stable though. I did find a few bugs while playing but these are easy to work around and should be fixed by the time the game is released.

More important than bugs though is what makes the game enjoyable. Skyhill is a game about survival in a world trying to rip your head off and eat your insides for supper. Weapons (in this build) are easy to find and the top rooms of the hotel are easy to handle, though the lack of food adds to urgency and tends to make you rush to lower and harder levels. This is when the bigger monsters appear and you are quickly out of your depth.

Though I’ve not ventured into crafting too much, there is a system in the game which is easy enough to learn. Though finding ingredients for your items is the harder part. This can be found by exploring rooms and entering into combat. With bandages and first aid gear being as scarce as food it isn’t long before the threat of death is near. To remedy this sleeping in the safety of the penthouse bed will revive some health, though cost hunger points in the process.

Skyhill is a point and click survival game and the environment of the hotel is procedurally generated. There is an elevator that can be used, but as this elevator system is designed to not make travel too easy it continually needs to be fixed, costing inventory items. I did take a strategy of forcing my way as far down the hotel as possible and actually managed to get to the second floor. I was quickly made to pay for this by a huge monster way above my skill level.

You can tell that a game’s level of difficulty is well-balanced if it keeps you coming back for more, and Skyhill does this for me, and I do have little patience for hard games. I know I have plenty to learn when it comes to playing Skyhill right, and I will continue to explore my options, I may even manage to complete the game…who knows?

As somebody who is becoming a fan of survival games like H1Z1 (even if I suck at it), Skyhill hits all the right notes for me, even while still in development (which to be fair is a good build and nearing completion). With a while to go before its actual release it’ll be interesting to see what the final game will be like, and I’ll admit to be looking forward to it. Skyhill is definitely a game to look out for as its release date comes closer. I know I for one will still be playing it trying to get out of the damn hotel.

Skyhill will be released on PC, Mac and Linux on October 6th 2015.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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