BLACK SKYLANDS

Black Skylands was released on March 31, 2021 by tinyBuild. The game was developed by Hungry Couch Games. Black Skylands is an isometric action game. Black Skylands has been updated several times since it was released.

In a world of floating islands, everyone was free and exploration was breathtaking… until the Swarm appeared. You must find a way into the spawning nest of the enemy, defeat all the bosses and discover the secrets of the Black Skylands!

Hungry Couch was founded in April of 2019 by Konstantin Burov. Our ambitious team is based in Russia and consists of 15 passionate people who can’t imagine their lives without making games.

The strategy elements are pretty standard in Black Skylands. In Black Skylands airships are incredibly important — they serve as means of transportation and communication between the many scattered islands. In some cases, they can even become a floating house. Without a doubt, people of Skylands simply wouldn’t survive having no airships.

And as a player, you’ll be able to choose and customize your ship to better suit a specific task — all courtesy of the Shipyard and its tools.

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After a tragic event with her father bringing a creature of the swarm to fathership, the factions fall in to disarray and the hunter clan takes totalitarian control, and will do whatever it takes to keep the clans safe from the swarm even if it means enslaving or even just killing the others. It’s up to Eva and her brother to find a way to stop the Hunter clan and the approaching swarm, in this top down, open world, action-adventure game.

The developers compare Black Skylands by two games Stardew valley mixed with the aesthetic of BioShock infinite. Bío is a clear reference to it with all the sky ships, floating cities and so on. Stardew valley I’m not so sure of, I’m not calling the developers liars I just never played the game but, I read the cliff notes, so I think I have understood the similarities’, they both have farming…. and possible some other things. But Black Skylands has so much going on and this is releasing in early.

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Farming is the most basic of things you will be doing, with simple plots, all you need is a seed and wait an allotted amount of time, the product can be traded or used in upgrades to your armor or ship. You need to explore the land and sky around you to gather your other need resources, like metals, cogs, coal, and so on to upgrade or enhance buildings. This will most likely be a big portion of your gameplay, needing to keep advancing and putting new equipment on your ship to liberate new islands.

This is where the fun and action begin, wither its fights with falcons in the skyship or on foot jumping from floating island to island with a whole swap of weapons you can’t go wrong. Skyship fighting is basic for the time being with the pace slowed down slightly, running sight lines and destroying ships, men with jetpacks and I have not made it far enough in the game but I have heard you will also be fighting the swarm in the sky. Most enemies in the here are common annoyance but the bloated ships with rockets are your bread and butter for simple supplies and are worth farming early on to keep the pace of the game up.

Land battles are the opposite side of the coin, boarding on bullet hell, doge weave and roll to evade bullets, with some fights having up to 5 plus people shooting making the game hectic and almost doom feeling, but you have a large arsenal of guns to choose from. Shotguns, Assault rifles, rifles, snipers, SMG’s, and more I have not seen yet with upgrades in mod boxes you can pick up all over the place, giving you multiple different buffs to choose from for each add on. Adding to the fun in the fight and helping you in traversal you have a grappling hook, bouncing between floating islands and using the hook to draw enemies near and kicking them back, or if you are tactical enough kicking them off the ledge. This one feature adds a lot to the game and gives you enough variety to change the pace of the fights and the way you chose to explore the world itself.

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Now all the fighting is not needless killing you are doing this to liberate each territory and give it back to the people. This comes with its caveats with increasing the population you are able to access more upgrades like flashlights, sightlines for your cannons, and more. But they are not yours free and clear, in time the falcons will attack to reclaim the island, giving you 15 minutes to reach the island and dispatch the invaders. This is where I found an issue with the game for me. Trying to protect the land is tedious and frustrating. With some islands having multiple parts some needing you to get back to your ship and fly to. And if you fly out of the territory by accident even for a second all enemies respawn and you need to repeat the process all over again. I can see this changing later in development but for the time being just be aware you may liberate an island and when it falls under attack you might do what I did, ignore it, sometimes it’s just not worth protecting, or going through the ordeal of protecting, They have turrets in the game you can buy I have not yet tested to see if this helps keep them protected and this could be the fix I need, I just didn’t have time to try it out, so that test will be up to you.

Black Skylands is well assembled and Hungry Couch Games put a lot of thought into the game. In short this game is not such a bad idea.

FEATURES

  • Prologue quest featuring the intro segment of the Main Story
  • Exploring the skies on your own ship
  • Ground and aerial combat
  • Traversal mechanics
  • Weapon modification

Playtesting the game with the Carbon Black Controller showed the game to be very playable. The Dual Shock Controller has been reported as suitable as well.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 or better
CPUIntel i3-2125 or better
Memory4 GB or more
Hard Drive Space2 GB
Graphics HardwareNVIDIA GeForce 650 or better
AMD HD 5750 or better
NetworkBroadband Internet Connection Required

This game uses the Unity engine. Black Skylands may be playable on a recent laptop. Full controller support is provided.

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