Rogue Sky is a captivating flying arcade game recently published by Chillingo and the debut title from Dutch indie developer Pebble Bug Studios.

Players must navigate a hot air balloon through beautiful hand-drawn graphics rendered in 3D creating a great visual experience. The game’s controls are very simple, you steer the balloon with two buttons which act as throttles, if you press both you go up, if you press just the right one you fly to the right and vice-versa and if you release your fingers from them both you begin to descend. Pretty obvious and intuitive.

On the screen you have a little HUD to help you choose where to navigate to from your current position to collect coins and reach the end of each level. In addition to collecting coins, there are numerous obstacles which must be avoided. These include dark stormy clouds, enemy balloons and air mines. To destroy an enemy you simply tap the throttle twice in its direction and BANG!

As you advance through the game you unlock different game modes, sometimes you have to do some mine sweeping, maybe destroy an entire fleet of enemy balloons (which actually isn’t very challenging) or just avoid the dark clouds and reach the end of the level as mentioned before. The key aspect of the game that makes Rogue Sky challenging, and what makes the game quite difficult to master that it’s all about maintaining precise control of your balloon. You have to be very careful while maneuvering through levels as your life is measured by only three little red dots on the HUD. Meaning, that if you hit three obstacles you are dead. This could be an area of frustration for players who do not have a steady hand.

In addition to the new game modes, you will also unlock additional items as you progress through the game. You know, the usual classic power ups that we’re all used to, speed boosters, armor boosters, weapons, etc which keep each play experience unique.

In Conclusion:

Rogue Sky’s beautiful hand-drawn graphics and superb musical score are charming. However, the game play can be quite difficult (and even a bit frustrating) at times due to the preciseness required to maneuver your balloon through the maze, avoiding obstacles and an early demise. I enjoyed the concept and at 99¢ I would recommend this game.