Developer: Three Legged Egg
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

A tethered spacewalk is the kind of activity that a common citizen would find rather difficult to comprehend. Now imagine dangling between two spacecrafts, with a single life support line tying both interstellar vehicles together. This is the plight of the player in the new puzzle/quasi-platformer Sky Tourist. Can this quest to explore the cosmos end up a success or should mission control scratch this expedition before it even leaves the ground?

IMG_0171Poor little Petey is stuck precariously sliding between two rapidly ascending spaceships, both of which are controlled by the player. If the ship on the right rises higher than the ship on the left, Petey begins to slide down the cord towards the left and vice-versa. Using this yin versus yang control scheme, players have to successfully navigate this miniature explorer through stages that are essentially interactive mazes. While all of this is going on, it is also important to gather cubelets that are haphazardly strewn about the stage.

The controls themselves and their responsiveness are somewhat difficult to describe, aside from comparing them to it the classic labyrinth games where players must guide a marble from a start to end point. Luckily Sky Tourist isn’t anywhere near as tedious and has generous checkpoints at reasonable intervals in each stage. Once a level has been completed the player is awarded a star for completing the stage, one for gathering all of the cubelets, and a potential third for finishing a stage without snapping the cord. That last challenge is a tall order that is quite difficult to pull off, especially on the first run-through.

IMG_0174Sometimes frustration is tolerable when the player knows they are at fault for their untimely demise. This is commonly the case when Petey meets his maker. This only helps to stoke the fire of addiction under the player’s heels. The whimsical art style and ever-evolving environmental obstacles also help to keep things fresh, which is critical in a title featuring a massive library of seventy five levels.

Just when things started to feel stale in the puzzle genre, Sky Tourist swooped in to save the day. Its intriguing control scheme and strong art style helped define it as a genuinely unique experience on iOS. Gamers are going to need to get ready for takeoff, because they’re going to want to hitch a ride on these rockets. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Game on.


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