We recently posted that Blue Skies [App Store] from Egerter Software appeared for download in the iTunes App Store.  After spending some time with the game, we can say it brings a solid shooter experience to the iPhone.

Blue Skies is a top-down 2D helictoper shooter that's more or less a cross between Will Wright's classic Raid on Bungeling Bay and Freeverse's Wingnuts Temporal Navigator.  The player pilots an accelerometer controlled helicopter across 30 search-and-destroy missions facing enemy tanks, planes, helicopters, blimps, and mines.  Powerups and cash are acquired by destorying enemy vehicles.  Accumulated cash can be used to purchase more advanced weapons from the home base R&D shop.  There are 10 weapons in all.

Gameplay is set to a 10-song techno soundtrack that heightens the sense of action.

Blue Skies is a shooter, plain and simple.  Fly your helicopter, blow up things, complete the mission.  Gameplay proceeds at a decent pace and the accelerometer helicopter controls "feel right."  The game's graphics are simple and work well, but the tile-based playfield could do with more skillfully rendered textures; at times certain terrains are obtrusively blocky and unrefined. The mission setup dialogue verges on corny at times, but is short enough not to detract from the game flow.

The iPhone is lacking in quality 2D shooters (R-Type please!) and Blue Skies is a solid additon to the genre.  2D blaster junkies will find it worth its space on their iPhone or iPod touch.

Blue Skies can be purchased through the iTunes App Store for $9.99.

Game Details
Name: Blue Skies (v1.0) Price: $9.99 [Buy]
Developer: Egerter Software Size: 84.0MB
In Brief: Bue Skies is an action-packed 2D top-down iPhone shooter plain and simple.  It pits an accelerometer controlled helicopter against a variety of enemy craft.  The control works well and the action is solid.

TouchArcade Rating

  • mavis

    Thanks for the review, blakespot! But here's what I really want to know: with highly polished games out now at that same price point (e.g., Asphalt 4), do you feel this game is actually WORTH the $9.99 asking price? There has been some debate about this ... ;)

  • MilesO'Toole

    Of course, pacman is also $10....

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    Sure, but PacMan for $10 is a joke. I'm talking about real games. For example, compared to other $10 games with either great, polished graphics (Asphalt 4) or great replay value (Galcon), is Blue Skies actually worth the $10?

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  • Glenn

    Asphalt 4, Galcon, blah, blah. Ok so those are good games but who says those are even worth $10? I say those are even overpriced no matter how good they are. And in case you didn't actually watch the video Blue Skies looks as good as any iGame out there.

  • Steve

    Too bad the iPod Touch has no speaker. Makes it less than ideal for games such as this one.

    Also, jeez, $10 for a game isn't a lot. Not when you look at all other platforms, including the Mac/PC. Most games are at least $15, most console/DS/PSP games are twice that.

  • mavis

    And cell phone games average $3. iPod games, $5. What's your point?

    Besides, I find it amazing that so many developers happen to feel that their games are worth $10. Why is that the magic number? It obviously isn't as great a number as they had hoped, otherwise we wouldn't constantly see price drops. ;)

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @mavis: I had played through mission 12 when I did the review. I've since moved beyond level 20, going through most of the game. I will say that after this much gameplay, a bit more play variation would be nice. Blue Skies starts feeling somewhat a "more of the same" situation. Even a significant terrain variation in the higher levels would be a plus.

  • Customer053

    You can't compare prices for physical game copy with downloaded software, because you can't sell your downloaded software and you can't buy a used copy to save some money. For that reason only very good iPhone games with nearly unlimited replay value and/or very good game design, graphics and sound are worth $10.

    Sorry, but I have to say, that Blue Skies is not good enough to justify that price. Look at something like New Mario Bros. or Mario Kart DS. That is high-class software, developed by big pro-teams for months or even years. If you take a look at Blue Skies (and other Appstore games) you see that is developed by 1-5 people with medium skill and within a few weeks. There's not enough variation, not enough balancing, not enough playtime. You can play through Blue Skies in a few hours and there is nothing to come back - it even gets repetitive the first time you play through.

  • http://www.geeknician.com Mirza

    I just bought it for $5.99. Click on Games>Action and its on the first page for $5.99 (click buy, don't click on the picture), if you click on its description its advertised for $9.99.

  • John

    Here here on the R-Type request.

  • rpgguy

    The nice thing about iPhone games is that a developer can modify them and provide new features for the rest of your life. That is not possible with a DS title.

    There are plans to add things to Blue Skies like boss battles, different types of enemies, more scenery, survival mode, and weather effects. The entire story and gameplay could changed to give the game more replay value later on.

    This market is completely different than a DS or PSP title where you only have one shot to make the game and can\'t change it later. If you want new features you\'d have to wait til next year for a sequel. Not so on iPhone.

  • mavis

    @rpgguy: true, but the flip side of that is that at least when we buy a DS game, we know exactly what we're getting. What you're describing is an incomplete game that we're basically paying to beta test. That doesn't sound like a very good deal to me. Frankly, I wish developers would release finished apps rather than incomplete projects because they know how easy it is to release updates.

    @blakespot: thanks for your honest assessment. It's nice having a resource like TouchArcade to help with our buying decisions ... I hope you and Arn keep up the good work! :)

  • Customer053

    Sure, you can improve your game and offer the updates for free. But you could also leave it as it is and release Blue Skies 2 instead. How and why should a customer trust an unknown developer? And why should he pay for a full featured game in advance, when he only gets a v0.2 labeled as v1.0?

    I really like your contact with the community and how you dropped the price for your game. I even consider buying it, to support your positive attitude, but I'll wait for 1.1 or 1.2 and check if you really improve the game as you told us.

  • rpgguy

    I considered Blue Skies to be finished, but the community had some good ideas and suggestions that I'd like to add to make it even better. Take a look at the bottom of this page for version 1.1 screenshots:

    http://www.rockingpocketgames.com/BlueSkies.htm

  • ArtOfWarfare

    *sweeps brow*

    thank god, I was worried this was the exact game I'm making right now. The review shows that they've taken the same starting point (wingnuts) except they've done absolutely nothing with it. I've taken Wingnuts and pumped it full of steroids... action is non stop, bosses are original, replayability seems endless, graphics are... well, better than this although still tile-based (StarCraft is my inspiration for graphic style... wingnuts/space invaders/StarFox are my game play inspirations...)

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  • john

    Nice advertisement for your own game. I'll be sure to look for it and not buy it.

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