Darkened Skye Review
The sky isn't looking too dark for this fantasy role-playing game.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 20th October 2003
- Developer: Boston Animation
- Publisher: Oxygen Interactive
- Release Date: 27th June 2003
The roleplayng genre is one which never seems to want to go away, every time one fades out another one comes to take its place. Yet with so many RPGs available, variety can be lacking,so when we were presented with Darkened Skye we were secretly hoping there would be something different about this one and thankfully, there was.
The game centres around a young woman named Skye, a humble farmer who finds herself having to save the fantasy world in which she lives from the evil Necroth. Necroth, a seemingly bitter fellow destroyed the rainbow which is the symbol of happiness and wealth for the inhabitants of Lynora and now Skye, along with her Gargoyle companion must travel through the realms collecting the magical skittles which made up the rainbow in order to save the world from evil and misery.
In most RPGs there is usually an object or group of objects put in place to fuel the adventure such as gold artefacts or scrolls. This time the game centres on Skittles, you know, the little fruity sweets with an ‘s’ in the middle? From the actual skittles to the rainbow idea the whole game is oddly based around the sweets, spells are made from combining different coloured skittles for instance which is not exactly a bad thing, just…different.
Despite looking rather innocent, Skye has no trouble in the fighting department, armed with a magical staff she is capable of a variation of combat moves from the simple ‘hit him with the stick’ style to the more impressive magical moves. Using the skittle combinations to aid her magic Skye can perform moves from fireballs to laser beams and naturally different attacks will affect some enemies more than others. Although a pretty mean fighting machine, Skye is unable to block attacks severely limiting her in battle and although the staff is invaluable, you will find that you can move much quicker when it is tucked away and not in use.
In order for you to keep tabs on how your heroine is doing you are provided with 2 balls at the side of the screen, one represents your life and obviously decreases when Skye gets hurt but thankfully increases when you eat red flowers or drink certain potions. The other ball represents your mana and decreases after using magic but increases after eating blue flowers or again, drinking certain potions.
The whole control system is very easy to use; the mouse controls the camera and can be turned in any direction and pointed at any angle making it easy to see your surroundings. The right mouse button is used to attack, left button used to conduct spells. All other controls are set out on the keyboard in an easy to master manner so thankfully, no time will be spent wondering what to do to make so and so work!
On your travels you are provided with an inventory which, whilst serving the obvious purpose also acts as your journal. Quests and notes are written down and conversations which take place are also recorded in text format here so if you are impatient like me, you can skip the conversation screens and check what was actually said later on!
The overall game is fairly humorous although some people may get a little fed up with the sarcasm and supposed wit. Obvious puzzles are greeted with sarcasm from Skye, for instance “ok look, a lock, maybe we need a key…” and the funny little gargoyle who serves no real purpose in the game continuously pokes fun at the other characters and game plot in general.
Darkened Skye features some good graphics however there are far too many problems in this area. After killing an enemy up in a tree he magically floated in mid air, I know the game is centred on a magical land but I don’t think this one was intentional! Other problems included our character falling through a ledge and enemies walking through trees. Despite the problems however the rest of the games graphics are fairly good, character models are well animated and environments are varied and detailed. Cut Scenes are usually kept short and interesting and the animation here is superb.
The game doesn’t offer much in the audio department although to be honest, it doesn’t really need to. Darkened Skye is hardly a game which relies on ground breaking sound effects yet what is there is done well from the fitting music to the good voice acting.
Naturally this game isn’t for everyone, in fact I don’t think there is a game which is for EVERYONE however if you like RPGs and don’t mind a fairly easy game then this one is for you. It’s fun and addictive and varied enough to keep you playing through to the next level, and then the next.
Review Score: 7.2/10
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