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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
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Posted Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:30 am

Blocky Skies – A 2016 Commodore Amiga Game Review

My Video Review Of Blocky Skies

The Blocky Skies Website Where The Game Can Be Downloaded For Free

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I’m always on the lookout for newer Amiga games. I love seeing a small or single programmer push the limits of classic systems. When it comes to systems like the NES or C64 it’s possible for one person to accomplish things an entire company couldn't do when the system was new. Unfortunately this has not seemed to extend to the 16-bit systems, with many new Amiga games being worthy of nothing more than public domain release. Many are simply bad games you wouldn't want to play for free. Some of them actually are quite good but due to what I imagine is the use of a newer programming language, a good chunk of these games are not capable of running on an Amiga 500. A game like Flappy Bird has seen retro ports to almost all systems yet requires a 1200 to run on the Amiga. No, the game is not using the AGA chipset. It’s 6800 “compatible”, it simply runs unbelievable slow due to the programming. The game is on the VIC-20, why can’t it run on an Amiga 500?!

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Blocky Skies DOES run on an Amiga 500 without any need for acceleration. In truth, the graphics are nothing special for the Amiga. It actually looks like something that could run on a VIC-20. Of course graphics are not everything, this game is simply good. It starts off offering you a tutorial where the basic gameplay is explained through play. I’d call this a part puzzle game and part “Simon like” repeat what you see type of game. You control various avatars from a bird’s eye view and attempt to walk them from the left starting platform to a platform on the right. Between these larger platforms is a chunk of tiles that can only be crossed the way the game wants you to cross. A line will indicate the path you must take but this line will soon fade from view and your memory must guide you the rest of the way. A built in timer is present as the board will auto scroll to the right and you’ll lose a life if it reaches you.

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Various power ups are offered on occasion and can be used by pressing the joystick fire button. An eye will allow you to see the pathway for a short time, a clock will freeze the board from moving to the right, and an arrow will auto complete that section of the board for you. Enemies in the form of bees will eventually be introduced. You must avoid their paths while keeping in the mind the auto scrolling nipping at your butt from behind.

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I never found myself getting bored with the scenery, as most levels offer not only completely new scenery but a completely new avatar to control. You might play a tank in one level, a car in another, and even a cow. The boards are simple but colorful and “blocky skies” scroll in the background. My only complaint is with the music. It’s just too beat orientated for my tastes and does not in any way show off the power of the Paula sound chip to my ears. Melody is just very lacking, too many rhythm based drum sounds. As I’m writing this I can’t say a single tune has retained itself in my memory.

There seems to currently be nine levels in the game, all can be accessed from the start menu without the requirement of beating them. The version is 0.73.1 so there may be further updates to the game. But there’s no need to wait because the game is highly enjoyable, addictive, and it’s free! So go to the Blocky Skies website and download this game now, there’s no reason why anybody who still games on an Amiga or an emulator should not have this game. It’s not a great game in the sense that it will be remembered forever, but it’s a fantastic time waster. You can put it in and waste at least 30 minutes of your life and you’ll have no regrets.

In my video review of the game I issued out a high score challenge! I managed a score of 22800 while talking and playing live. Would love to see some posted screenshots of your high scores, keep in mind I will replay it without distraction if you manage to beat me. :p American's please note that the game is in PAL mode. If using a real Amiga you will need to boot the machine in PAL mode or use an emulator to play.

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