Developer: Inverse Blue
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Skyriders is a fun arcade racer with some stunning visuals and high-speed thrills. Players race in an futuristic vehicle along stretched-out tracks that float in space. With jumps, block obstacles, stars to collect and boost sections to aim for, Skyriders is a challenging game for any would-be speed freaks.

The first thing worth noting is that the visuals in Skyriders are fantastic. The highly stylized geometric patterns and textures along each track are almost hypnotizing, placed against wide-open, spacious backgrounds. It’s enough to instill a little bit of vertigo, but adds to the overall sense of incredible speed.

Speaking of speed, players don’t get any direct control over acceleration. The ship races along at a fixed velocity, requiring the player to race across “booster” sections that speed the ship up while adding to a score multiplier. In addition, players collect stars to increase the multiplier, and it’s here that the game throws an extra challenge at the player. Not only must players collect stars, but they’ll have to collect stars of alternating colors. As they pick up red stars, players must double-jump to change the ship’s polarity, allowing them to then pick up yellow stars. As the stars change colors, players will have to keep double-jumping in order to collect them all.

The high-speed thrills aren’t limited to collecting stars and aiming for boosts, however. Players will have to jump long gaps and find routes around blocks that can stop them dead in their tracks. The excitement builds as the terrain becomes more extreme, and then there are alternate routes that provide more stars/boosts or increasingly dangerous sections of track. Players will find both exhilaration and frustration awaiting within each track.

There are 40 tracks over total of 5 zones. After a set number of tracks players will have to face the ultimate “challenge track” at the end of each zone, where players must race through every track that came before in one long track. It’s a tough challenge just to get to the end! Players will also have a chance to upgrade their ships as they gather points to help them out, however.

One of the things I liked about Skyriders is that there are a variety of control options available, suiting players who may be more comfortable with tilt/motion controls or moving the buttons to where they can be more easily accessed. Another aspect I really appreciated is that there are no in-app purchases. You get the whole game in one shot — something becoming rather rare, these days.

With the number of tracks and the challenge of getting a gold mark on each one, it’s going to take players a while to get through this game. Skyriders is definitely a fun diversion with plenty of action!


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