Eyes up, soldier. Your training has begun.
The light panel around your face is full of information, but there's barely any time to pay attention to it. Rockets are flying at you, lasers have obstructed your path, and there's a traffic jam of sky cars ahead. You need to eliminate as many of these problems as possible before your suit runs out of power, so you'd better move fast! This is your first day as a Sky Fighter, and if you don't show everyone what you can do on your own you may not make it to tomorrow.
Or worse, that instructor could come back and scold you.
Using Daydream to its fullest
Sky Fighter is a futuristic tunnel racer with a decent soundtrack and not a ton of extras. You are flying through a future city, dodging massive pillars and half-closed doors by weaving around them with your face. Tilting up and down and rotating your head left and right give you basic controls, and there's some basic acceleration and deceleration control with the Daydream controller. Each level offers you a unique puzzle to solve, and if you fail you're presented with an entirely different puzzle so memorization won't save you. If you want to succeed in this game, you're going to need to learn how to play.
While this is a Google Daydream game, it actually plays a lot more like Google Cardboard. Your head tracking is a vast majority of the challenge, and in most of the puzzles your Daydream controller only gets used as a single button to fire your weapon. Aiming in the game is done with your face instead of the Daydream pointer, and in most cases the act of speeding up or slowing down is so subtle it doesn't actually affect gameplay. It's plenty challenging, but clear the developers left some of the Daydream functionality behind.
Where Sky Fighter really stands out is the variety of challenges you face. The game will quickly switch between narrow tunnels to a swarm of enemies to shoot down and then over to big open building dodging. When a big part of the game is making sure your suit has enough power to keep going, this rapid change in activity means you need to constantly keep an eye out for recharge coins while doing everything else. It's a welcomed level of complexity, despite feeling a little unpolished in the process.
Keep pushing forward
Unlike most games in this genre, replaying a mission to unlock an acheivment doesn't feel like a chore. The level is never exactly the same, so when you see challenges like shooting down a certain number of targets to unlock an upgrade the completion isn't about memorization. That having been said, it's not hard to adjust to the patters in the individual sections. The traffic jams full of space cars, for example, are frequently the exact same challenge with the same pattern of vehicles to dodge. It's possible to play this game enough that you're able to ace each individual section, but at that point you've probably beaten the game already.
Sky Fighter: Training Day is a great game that leaves you wanting more. Unfortunately, that feeling is specifically directed at things like plot and Daydream-specific features in the controller. With a little more polish in the gameplay and in-game content, this could easily be one of the better games available for Daydream.
- Challenging gameplay
- Decent soundtrack
- Unpolished, lots of text errors
- Not enough control given to the Daydream Controller