The hero of Skyhill’s existence is not simple – mutants lurk in hotel rooms and corridors, there are a hundred levels full of perils between him and the building’s evacuation, and the food required for survival is frequently spoilt. Breaking free grows simpler with each try, yet the game is lengthy enough to last several evenings.
We look at the skyscraper from the side, and each level has two rooms and a chamber with stairs and an elevator shaft. It is up to us to determine whether we will press straight down, ignoring hidden riches and risks, or if we will investigate every corner and cranny. On the one hand, traveling about the structure consumes more food and exposes us to interactions with mutated occupants; on the other hand, exploration allows us to acquire food and equipment needed to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. The action is divided into turns, during which we may walk about, combat enemies, and make modest repairs to the elevator shaft. Although the aim is the ground level, we will return to the loft at the top of the building several times along the way to construct new equipment, make nutritious meals from the collected materials, or simply sleep and recharge. We can not only simply access to the top floor, but we can also bypass numerous floors as long as the installation below is not broken. Ignoring some floors can help us get to the finals faster, but we will often lose out on some of the stuff that we would find if we explored more thoroughly.
The game requires you to continually weigh what is more profitable: risking limited quantities of food and health points that are difficult to replenish in order to investigate every hiding spot, or rushing towards increasingly tougher creatures while not being concerned about a shortage of equipment and supplies. Almost every time we restart the trip, the answer to this question changes somewhat. Many items are created at random, thus we may acquire a lot of food and medications at times, and then every bit of bread will be worth its weight in gold at other times. Whether we are fortunate or unlucky, a shortage of food is rarely the cause of our mortality. The monsters are not particularly diversified – there are just a few sorts of foes spread throughout one hundred floors, and the success of the combat is determined by the weapon’s quality and the hero’s statistics. The game allows you to aim at different portions of the mutants’ bodies, modifying the likelihood of striking and the amount of damage caused, but this is where your freedom ends. The active and passive abilities chosen at the start of each approach provide further variety, changing things like the need for food or the capacity to unlock locks. Furthermore, when we defeat successive foes and explore the hotel, we collect experience that allows us to increase fighting abilities.
The narrative of the game is not very important to the designers. We know the apocalypse has occurred, and biological weapons are referenced somewhere, but the details of the Skyhill scenario are hazy. We can learn more about the hero and the world around him by investigating the hotel, but the information gathered is too broad and generic to be intriguing.
Skyhill’s audiovisual environment does not wow, and the intriguing gameplay concept is only worth a few tries. The magic is shattered when we eventually make it to the ground floor. Even though the game has several endings, it’s difficult to force oneself to try more than one.