L2JO8G4.png

Growing up, I spent a ton of time playing games on my PlayStation consoles, as my family didn't own a PC until I was a bit older. Some of my favorite games that I can remember playing over and over were the Ace Combat series. I spent countless hours flying my fighter jet around and destroying various enemy aircraft, ships, and more. With this in mind, it's easy to see why I was immediately interested in Sky Rogue. Sky Rogue is basically a roguelike, procedurally-generated version of Ace Combat, and is quite a bit of fun to play.

While some might resent the comparison to Ace Combat, I do it mainly to give everyone a point of reference to understand how Sky Rogue feels to play. I've always enjoyed the fast-paced dogfighting in most flying games, so it was no surprise when I found myself feeling comfortable with the way Sky Rogue controlled almost immediately. The movement felt extremely smooth, and I never ran into any issues where I felt that I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do based on control restrictions.

Sky Rogue is not a particularly new game in the sense that it has been available on itch.io for over a year; however, the game has just recently made its way onto Steam Early Access, which is where it first drew my interest. The game is meant to be fun, plan and simple, and it is exactly that. While some games are meant to tell a deep story, or showcase an interesting mechanic, Sky Rogue manages to take a simple concept with accessible controls, and make it fun as well as challenging.

Q3lFuOg.png

Booting up Sky Rogue will send you into the game's tutorial, which does a fantastic job of explaining the controls. While they aren't hard to learn, there are some good tips in there that helped me a lot. Admittedly, I haven't played a game of this sort in quite a while, so I was definitely in need of some help, especially considering how difficult the game quickly becomes. After completing this tutorial, you'll be thrown into the meat of the game, which features procedurally-generated levels, random enemies, and an enemy base that you must destroy to complete each mission.

The levels in Sky Rogue are divided up in days, meaning that you start on Day 1 and make your way forward from there. You begin each day on the aircraft carrier, and immediately take off and are thrown into an unknown area with no clue which enemies you will be facing, or where you objective will be. Once you get your bearings, you'll see the enemy base appear on your map, which is the building that you must destroy in order to complete the mission. While it's definitely possible to go straight for the objective, you'll earn more credits by defeating as many of the level's enemies as you can, which will allow you to purchase additional weapon types for you to use in the future.

9SrhuL5.png

After destroying the enemy base, you must make your way back to your carrier and land your ship, where it will then give you a chance to start the next day. At any point during the level, you can return to the carrier in order to get your ship repaired and to replenish or change your weapons. After each mission, you have the ability to change your loadout, ship type, ship skin, and more. These upgrades are all dependent on credits, which you earn by defeating enemies and completing objectives.

Sky Rogue features permadeath, meaning that if your ship is destroyed during a mission, you'll be starting back at Day 1. However, much like other rogue-like games, you'll be able to use the credits you've earned to bolster your arsenal for future missions. I found the upgrade system and ability to change ships and skins to "make" the game, so to speak. While the flying and combat is extremely fun, there wouldn't have been much to keep me playing if not for the upgrade system.

tLexQwP.png

I found Sky Rogue to be really entertaining, and greatly enjoyed the nostalgia that it made me feel for games like Ace Combat. The controls were as smooth as I could hope for, and the combat and upgrade system combined to make an extremely entertaining experience. The challenge ramps up perfectly, so that a few days in you really find yourself having to use all of your tricks to stay alive and complete your mission. With all of this in mind, it's important to remember that Sky Rogue is only in Early Access, meaning that we can hopefully expect more content in the future, which will make the game all the more entertaining. You can find Sky Rogue on Steam Early Access for $9.99.