Reviewed by Tyler Higgs
Developed By: Mandragora
Published By: Klabater
Category: Adventure, Role Playing
Release Date: February 26, 2019
100 floors up, and it’s a long way to the bottom. Skyhill takes place inside a huge hotel where your goal is survival. A bio weapon has attacked the world and now everyone in the hotel except for you has become a grotesque mutant. Now you have got to take Perry Jasons life in your own hands, and make it to the first floor, to escape this torturous hotel. It’s time for the developers at Mandragora to take us on a suspenseful journey.
Skyhill plays out as a survival roguelike with some rpg elements. The 100th floor is your penthouse suite that you can customize with different upgrades. As you explore, each floor has two rooms you can scavenge for resources. You have to be careful though, because inside these rooms there may be mutants waiting for you. if you don’t feel prepared to fight one you can simply walk away but then you will miss whatever items were in the room.
The combat plays out in the form of choosing between three attack options. Each one targets specific body parts on an enemy, and does more or less damage. The more damage an option does the higher the chance to miss your attack. By defeating mutants you will also gain experience that will eventually lead to you leveling up. There are four stats you can upgrade when you level up. Strength increases damage, Speed increases your chance for an extra turn, dexterity increases dodge chance, and finally you can increase your accuracy.
Combat was pretty enjoyable, and you do have to pay attention to what you’re doing. If you’re always taking the chance to do the attack with the most damage, then you’re going to miss a lot. Miss too many attacks, and you may find yourself as a nice snack for the mutants.
Scavenging is the most important aspect of Skyhill. You have to scavenge for new weapons, medical supplies, crafting material, and most importantly food. Your hunger decreases by 1 for each time you go into a new room or go downstairs. Sometimes the power goes out on a floor, and you have to take time to fix that which can cost you up to 10 points off your hunger meter. If your hunger meter drops to 0 you start losing health. That’s why it’s so dire to always keep your eye out for any scraps of food you can find.
What’s kind of cool is you can combine different food items together to make better food. You have some extra bread & cheese why not turn it into a cheese sandwich to recover even more hunger. Up in your penthouse you can use crafting materials to build your self a kitchen, and unlock even more recipes. The hunger mechanic is really well implemented, and made surviving feel that much more suspenseful.
As you scavenge the hotel you may come across notes, picture fragments, and voice memos. These serve to add some more details on the events that have transpired. The notes, and voice memos don’t lineup the events of the story well, and that’s because there is more then one ending to Skyhill.
I don’t want to spoil them, but Skyhill has 3 possible endings, and each one shines a different light on what has really happened. It’s really interesting to have these three different endings, unfortunately the problem is that it won’t take you long to see them.
You will have to playthrough the game a few times to see all 3 endings, but it doesn’t take too long to do this. This is a roguelike game so if you die, you do have to restart but if you play on normal mode it’s unlikely you will die.
There is a hard mode, and an unlockable hardcore mode, but once you have played through Skyhill a few times you feel like you have seen everything it has to offer. If you want a challenge you could try to only beat Skyhill on hard mode, but really it doesn’t make a difference. The price tag on this game is a little high to warrant the few hours of good content,and that’s with the idea that you want to obtain each of the three endings. Unless you really enjoy Skyhill it gets pretty tedious pretty quick.
One thing that I did really enjoy about Skyhill was the visuals, and soundtrack. It had a really great design, and the soundtrack fits well with the games ominous tone.
I can happily report that I didn’t have any technical problems in docked or handheld mode during any of my playthroughs.
Overall Skyhill offers up a pretty decent survival experience. It’s narrative is enthralling, and combat, and scavenging are well implemented. It would have been nice to see the game have a bit more content, or have a bit more random events that could occur. It felt like after playing for a few hours I had pretty much seen everything it had to offer.