Preview: Black Skylands (Origins)

Preview: Black Skylands (Origins)

Black Skylands is an upcoming top-down shooter by developer Hungry Couch Games. In Black Skylands, you build your sanctuary among the clouds and fight to protect it. The game is set to release in the fourth quarter of 2020, so we still have to wait a while. Luckily, there is already a demo available on steam called Black Skylands: Origins. This demo is free to play, so if this preview catches your attention, be sure to try it out. By the way, for those of you who are Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch players: Black Skylands will also be released on these platforms!

A promising game…

Black Skylands if off to a great start, that’s for sure! The game’s pixelated graphics are very beautiful and I liked the map and various flying islands. The overall gameplay itself is quite enjoyable as well. Combat is simple and easy to understand. I ended up finding several different weapons, some I liked more than the others. The melee attacks proved to be quite useful as well. Using your hook (that you need to swing from one floating piece to another) during combat was a real plus for me. A basic farming element is also introduced, and this is also straightforward.

The game uses a made-up language, and if I’m being honest, I still haven’t figured out if I liked this. Still, it’s creative and the English subtitles make everything easy to understand.

With a few flaws

I saw so very excited to try out this game because I am a fan of pixelated games. Black Skylands immediately reminded me a little of Stardew Valley, a game I also love, so I was sold right away. However, the moment you fire up the game, you get a little background story. Nothing wrong with that, of course! Unfortunately, the story doesn’t just feature graphics, it also features a voice-over. That was a big turn off, wow. The bad voice-acting continues throughout the entire game, by the way.

Another flaw I noticed, was that the soundtrack sometimes disappears, or starts playing too late. I was leaving a sky island and didn’t hear the soundtrack until I was halfway back to my island. It made the flying part kind of boring.

Okay, that last part isn’t completely true. The flying was never boring, it was plain annoying a lot of times. Driving your flying ship around was way harder than it should be. At first, I didn’t really mind because I taught it could add some challenge. But honestly, it was just too annoying. Docking is basically impossible. Luckily, you have your hook to get from your ship to the land, but still. I really wanted to park my ship, but I couldn’t and it bothered me.

In conclusion

Black Skyland is still a demo and shows a lot of promise. I honestly cannot wait to try out the full version in a few months. Flaws are to be expected, for sure, otherwise, devs don’t release a demo first. I feel like, if Hungry Couch Games take notice of the feedback from players, Black Skylands can really be your new addiction.