Title: Shooty Skies Overdrive
Developer: Mighty Games Group
Publisher: Mighty Games Group
Genre: Action, Arcade, Shooter
Platform: Oculus Quest
Audience: PEGI 3
Release Date: July 3, 2020
A code was kindly provided for review purposes.
Shooty Skies Overdrive is the VR remodel of the mobile arcade top-down shooter, Shooty Skies. At its core, Shooty Skies Overdrive takes the gameplay tropes, aesthetic and charm of the mobile success and blends the full room-scale VR experience with it in a way that creates a perfect blend of dodging, shooting and grasping power-ups for dear life.
The game puts you in a small 180-degree arc arena – similar to Space Pirate Trainer – and transforms your dominant hand into a small aeroplane with a cute pilot to match. You can manoeuvre this pilot in any direction: forward, back, left, right, up and down in order to dodge the waves of different bullets to not fail the mission. Additionally, attacking with this plane allows you to send an onslaught of bullets straight ahead, having you find the skill to not only avoid incoming attacks but retaliate with your own.
Exhilarating & Customisable Gameplay
Shooty Skies Overdrive shakes up the gameplay with a variety of stages, enemies and power-ups which provide a fun addition to the already arcade-heavy gameplay. Enemies call back to old retro pop-culture and the stages provide a fun, yet beautiful backdrop for which you complete your missions.
Each unlockable pilot provides a different loadout and spawn chances for each power-up. These can be grabbed and used by your off-hand whilst simultaneously fighting baddies. The power-ups range from fun and powerful to the downright stupid. However, all in all, they add to the content, charm and overall addictiveness of the game. Unlocking new pilots to find out what play style suits them best was a blast. Playing a range of roles, from defensive manoeuvring to offensive frontal attacks was a fun mix-up to the gameplay.
Longing for More
The one thing that I wish Shooty Skies incorporated would be more game modes or content. While the set of levels you are given access to throughout the game are fun and rewarding, they’re extremely short. The only replayability would be going through on higher difficulties to get a taste of the challenge. I would have loved the inclusion of an endless mode. Too often I found myself getting into the flow when suddenly you had a boss fight and it was over.
Shooty Skies Overdrive’s voxel graphics shine proudly on the Quest. The art style is cute, vibrant and fun and matches the game-play perfectly. Whilst, sometimes, I had trouble discerning enemies from the background in some stages due to the particles, colours, and lights, this ended up not hindering my gameplay. If anything it was another challenge I felt proud to overcome while playing. The game is gorgeous and its sound effects and music match the retro arcade aesthetic hard-hitting nostalgia.
Sometimes, you come across a game that fits its platform perfectly. A title whose gameplay is so well-tailored to the hardware that it feels right at home no matter how you play it. This is the feeling I felt after playing Shooty Skies Overdrive on Oculus Quest. A full room-scale, retro-inspired, bullet hell arcade shooter – that is what the game is. It never deviates and the way it pulls it off impresses me to no end. The only downside to my experience was the dissatisfying length.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can grab your copy of Shooty Skies Overdrive from the Occulus Store today.