Developer: Kokonut Studio
Publisher: Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Endless runner games. They’re kind of the rage, lately, and Sky Hero is the latest in an iterative genre that has given us the likes of Canabalt, Temple Run, and Jetpack Joyride as high points. Sky Hero plays right along in the Jetpack Joyride style of endless runner, with obstacles to avoid, floating coins to fall through, upgrades, and missions to complete, all while falling through the air from the top of a burning building. The falling hero is also being chased in his descent by a large, fiery flame monster, which smacks him when he’s hit too many obstacles on the way down.

There are several power-ups to gather, including a magnet to pull all the coins in to the plunging protagonist and a lucky clover, which doubles the value of the coins he picks up. Coins can be redeemed for costumes, extra lives, and special travel missions. In an interesting twist, the weather in-game is based on the weather in players’ local area, so if it’s raining outside of the window in real life, it’s raining in Sky Hero.

The game plays in landscape format, with players tapping on the left and right side of the screen to control the direction of descent. There’s an option to tilt the iOS device, as well, but the tap controls felt just a bit more responsive in my hands. Birds holding saws, barrels with evil mustachios, and odd helicopter bomb things make up the beginning set of baddies to avoid. The main point of the game is to fall directionally in order to pick up coins, achieve distance, and complete missions like getting 2 power-ups in one fall, score 2,000 points, or grab 3 speed-ups in one game.

Sky Hero will appeal to those looking to scratch the 2D endless running/falling itch, which is not a bad thing. While it’s an enjoyable enough gaming experience in its own right, the title doesn’t have much that’s new or innovative for this already over-crowded genre. All the features of this game have been done before. Sky Hero is bright, cheery, graphically adorable, but ultimately travels the same sort of road that many other games have already trod. If that’s not a problem for players, they’ll find Sky Hero worth a purchase.

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