By Alec Meer on June 5th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.
Give me a truly arresting screenshot and I’m yours forever. Well, until I play your game and decide whether it’s any good or not, but hey, at least you got yourself a headstart. In this case, a giant purple skull apparently eating a city was what snared my attention so immediately, and so it was that I found myself playing Return To The Sky, a dreamlike platformer from a collective of DigiPen students. Man, DigiPen students make all the good stuff. Someone should lock them all in a cupboard and force them to just keep making great free games for us, forever. They’re only students, they’ll only need lager and the occasional pack of Quavers to survive.
Anyway, Return To The Sky also features a giant spectral hand stealing the moon.
As a platformer, it’s reasonably traditional stuff but the added tension of the aforementioned giant purple skull chasing you as you flee across the rooftops of a futuristic Arabian Nights-styled cityscape keeps it urgent and propulsive. The moon thing only happens in the intro cutsccene by the way, but that’s OK – it’s much better than a soldierface lecuturing me about whatever baddieface I’ve got to go and kill and the 14 thousand years of lore behind it.
Also mixing things up are air currents that can sleepily cast you about the place and hovering gems that make Purple Ronnie howl like a wounded Minotaur and retreat a little, but for the most part it’s essentially an endless runner (or ‘Canabalt rip-offs’, as they should be called) in which you get to/have to do the actual running as well as the jumping, and which is split into levels. I didn’t finish it as frankly all the levels seemed to be same, but I didn’t pay for it so I’m not going to complain about that. Neither should you, because it’s free, free, as free as mouldy rolls in the bins out the back of Burger King. But infinitely more classy.
Other good games Return To The Sky reminds me of: Prince of Persia and Disney’s Aladdin. That’s because monkey see Arabian nNghts, monkey only think of other Arabian Nights-styled games.
Return To The Sky is very pretty and you can get it for free from here. The end.