Skyworld joins the ever growing PSVR catalogue as Vertigo Games joins forces with Wolfdog Interactive to bring this tabletop strategy game to life. A mix of turn-based and real-time strategy awaited me. It was time to dust off (and charge) the move controllers, slide on the VR headset and see what Skyworld was like.
You are tasked with protecting a number of floating kingdoms from demons and dragons. The world design is colorful, bright and creates a beautiful world to play in. Each kingdom is split up into smaller sections with plenty of details. I enjoyed the change of seasons and how great your buildings looked on the map.
The opening 5 to 10 minutes is the expected tutorial that showcases how to navigate the world and menus with your floating hands. You will be taken through basic construction and gameplay as well as your first battle. As the name suggests you are playing on floating worlds in the sky which you can rotate by grabbing the edge and spinning it.
Building, collecting resources, upgrading units and moving your general all take part during turns. Increase your taxes and rations, add more workers to a building or construct more buildings to alter the amount of resources collected. Use these resources to upgrade your main castle, water towers or your deck of cards.
Your card deck forms what units you can use during battle. They float nicely on your left hand and you pick and place them on the battlefield with your right. There are a mix of melee, ranged, vehicles like battering rams and magic. Yes, you can throw fire balls at enemy units. As you progress more units become available and you need to decide what units you are going to take into battle.
Each card can be upgraded as well. This does the normal and increases attack damage or health. Upgrading cards is a must as you progress through. Even by the time I hit the second kingdom the enemy was already too strong for my basic units. You will find what combinations work best for you, so a steady flow of swordsmen backed up by archers is a solid approach. Add in a Knight, which is a larger unit, and you have yourself a good starting army.
Battles are not the most difficult part of this game. It quickly becomes a race of who can put down the most units quickest. On each battle map there are 3 control points which offer bonus air support to attack the enemy water towers and castle. These can make a big difference to the battle so getting 2 of the 3 on your side is a good tactic. Rotating the move controller will adjust the path your unit will take so this can be used to make sure you hit these control points early.
Overall though, if you have upgraded units and a good mix of cards you should find yourself winning most battles. The battles I lost were maybe down to a poor choice of unit at that time. Replaying them quickly afterwards with no real changes could easily produce a different result.
What did offer a bit of a challenge in this game at the start was managing resources. This may be because I have never been great at tutorials and just want to play the game to be honest. However, you need to manage your workers carefully. Adjusting your taxes and ration allocation will impact whether you gain or lose workers. Lose too many workers and your resource collection will slow and it becomes a slippery slope quickly.
Master resource management and you will fly through this game without too much trouble. The campaign sits at around 10 hours depending on your play style. I liked to take my time and make sure I built on every space I could. Had a good stock of resources and upgraded my units as much as possible before heading into battle.
Don’t be fooled though! Spend your time collecting resources and an enemy general may catch you off guard. Once two generals meet on the same space then a battle will commence at the end of that turn, no chance of moving your general away. So, if you are not ready you may find yourself needing to rebuild.
Overall, I had an enjoyable experience with the game. As Skyworld suggests it was best when using two move controllers for ease of unit placement and menu navigation. It would be hard to say you get a deep strategy game here. There is a good level of resource management matched with a degree of battle strategy to give you a game that you won’t just walk through but shouldn’t have your throwing any controllers out the window. Probably a game for someone who enjoys strategy but doesn’t want to be bogged down with too much management stuff.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*