- Release Date: 2012
- Publisher: ProSiebenSat.1 Games
- Developer: Chimera Entertainment
Skylancer: Battle for Horizon (Skylancer for short) is a strategy browser game inspired from the fantasy comic book. The game is developed by Germany-based Chimera Entertainment behind games like Mission Genesis and WarStory. Skylancer entices players into a fantasy world where they should, for the ultimate supremacy, combat on the floating islands.
It will be published by ProSiebenSat.1 Games (burda:ic until June 2011) under the platform alaplaya.Net and the closed beta is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.
In Skylancer, you start off your journey by playing as a mighty warrior, in an attempt to lure sailors, carpenters and settlers to follow you and to co-build a thriving island on the high seas. But before exploring treasure, you must know the journey is never sound and safe. Along your way, you may encounter enemies, pirates, creatures and monsters, which stand in your way. You must train and unite your own units to clear out them.
When it comes to building, Skylancer allows you to build necessary infrastructure like sawmills, quarries, and farms, which could generate resources for the supply of units.
For those who like fighting, Skylancer offers a complete set of tactical PvP and PvE battles, and a great deal of weapons, shields and gears.
On the other hand, players can promise to land on the lunar surface and search for the lost civilization and even fight with lunar guardians.
Many terms applied to browser games – slow-paced, monotonous, grinding, lifeless, stale – are far from being true of Skylancer.
This game is different from other browser-based city builders in part because it is set in floating islands, but mainly because it is “Play to Win” instead of “Pay to Win”. That means you must be pretty smart during your adventure.
The game starts with a selection of three Factions: Alliance, Empire, and Renegades. And in this review, I chose Alliance because it offers bonus.
First and foremost, the game has a fairly functional tutorial accompanying me the way I fight and explore. This part has become an indispensable part of all browser games, but few of them could do such a perfect job. There are no misadventures along the way, and each part is explained clearly enough. If you are new to such game, I am sure you can easily get started following the guide’s hints though the game is in beta stage.
Most impressive and distinct perhaps is the game’s control. You are just like a pilot controlling a steering wheel and sail through the high seas. Sometimes there are pirate ships and floating rocks passing across your view, either clockwise or counterclockwise, and sometimes there are some real player’s islands at your sight if you target close to an island. But if you do not have intention to attack them, they can be considered as a decoration of your questing as they are not going to be aggressive to attack you.
When it comes to combat, it also intrigues me with its Deck and Morale system. Each time you enter a battle, you could choose to organize your army, which can be made up of equipment, weapon and warship, and most importantly your warrior, or you just directly click the Attack button to bring up a Combat Arena. The warrior can be Zombie, Duelist, Brawler, Barbarian and etc. Also they can be upgraded in the Island city.
Combat is turn-based in an animated fashion, and there is only PVP mode. Once you have entered the battle mode, you are able to choose a fate Coin from the Three Coins Available. It is randomly assigned for giving bonus or loss attributes – Damage, Morale, Health, Hitpoints – to both sides. If you win a battle, you will be rewarded with XP and Coins, as well as some valuable quest items pirates and Sky Reef drop. Most of items can be purchased from the Bazaar with Coins and AP. Coins can be produced in your farm while AP should be purchased using your money. But almost all of them can be picked up from opponent’s drop as long as you can win. That is why I said the game is not pay to win but play to win.
You may notice each attack consumes Energy point that replenishes every five minutes. Basically, Attack against NPC pirates costs 1 Energy, and attack to real players should use two Energy points. Ideally, no matter you choose which way you attack, the result is fairly great upon your victory. It should be pointed out that Attack to real players will contribute your ranking and glory points.
Visually, the game should be giving a credit to its art designers for the artwork is a genuine feast to the eyes. Against the background is the fine weather with blue sky and white clouds, and the waving sea of flags. In the building farm are spectacular waterfall and, balloon that reminds you of collecting supply resources. The combat scenes set a ragged ship as the background. It is a pity that no more combat scenes attach with animated fighting at the beta stage. A modest proposal is “Add more different background pictures and a small garnishing could be a big deal” If there is music to fighting, that would add luster to the current beta.
Technically, the game is not built as professionally as the gameplay is. During the closed beta, we never smoothly get into the game and even in the open beta, we periodically run into problems: Laggy response, Fail to connect server, and deck cannot be set. If something makes you uncomfortable, that is the technical part.
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