Skytime came clean out of nowhere on the Nintendo Switch eShop when I browsed through the games for sale lately. And yet I was intrigued by its concept. A first-person platformer where you hop around the place and stop the flow of time to help your jumps? Why this sounds quite a bit like Clustertruck! And in a way, it does feel like an inexpensive alternative to TinyBuild’s game since it involves a lot of jumping around before reaching the end goal. Sometimes across moving vehicles, in fact.
According to the official description, you’re a scientist that lost your family in an avalanche. You have managed to get your hands on a reactor core by stealing it from evil military personnel. There is no indication whether there is an actual villain until the credits claim you defeated Dr. D.Z. None of this nonsense plays out in the actual game and the intro is narrated with a voice so amateurish I couldn’t make out what he was saying.
The visuals in Skytime aren’t exactly going to win awards anytime soon. They’re not bad but there is a distinct lack of polish. All of the levels have the same metropolis theme and they share all of the same oddities (such as the buildings seemingly floating over an endless abyss). For what it’s worth, the level of detail on the buildings themselves and the enemy robots that shoot at you is fairly commendable.
Is it just me or does the music seem rather nonchalant for this kind of game? I think I’ve heard some cozy piano during my time playing but it sometimes gets drowned out by the protagonist’s jump grunt and distant gunfire. Either way, I’m not really sure if I like the way the sound design is handled.
As you can see, I do not care for Skytime‘s presentation all that much. However, the gameplay does have some redeeming qualities. Slowing down time temporarily does add a lot to the way you could move around these glorified obstacle courses. The robots that shoot at you when you’re nearby also do a decent job at keeping you on your toes. There isn’t any flair to the way the levels work, though. You just play through ten levels and then the game anticlimactically ends. Even then, the only level that felt “hard” enough was the one where you have to go fast enough to catch a vehicle carrying the goal. The rest is easy to get through; especially when you realize how easily exploitable the mechanics can be.
All things considered, I’d say Skytime is a very run-of-the-middle sort of experience. It’s not necessarily a bad game and it’s $2.99 price tag is easy to swallow. It could have used some more punch and a lot more refinement, however. Oh well. I guess you get what you pay for.
Review copy provided by Somtimes You