The absolute fear of falling was ingrained in my conscience thanks to Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller Vertigo, and whether it's The Towering Inferno or Die Hard, plummeting to one's death is just a visceral and visually compelling way to frame a movie scene. The developers of Sky Hero understand that perverse thrill of descending, and as much as I love certain games on my iPad, none deliver the pure adrenaline rush of this air adventure.
The game doesn't waste its time with an intro or even a tutorial. You play a soldier named John, and your first mission has you falling from a castle. During the first level, an intimidating fire monster is on your tail, and to avoid getting killed you must dodge various bombs and saws which block your path. Once you crash into these obstacles a couple of times, the monster usually catches up and destroys you.
Gamers can either control their hero through tilt or touch control. Although tilting gives a more physical feel to the game, moving left and right isn't as accurate as the touch method, and moving your device with so many objects littering the screen can have a dizzying effect. One option I highly recommend is turning your Weather Location Services setting on before you begin the game. This feature takes your surrounding climate and merges it into Sky Hero. Since Los Angeles has been gloomy all weekend, my soldier's head was definitely in the clouds.
Sky Hero contains a striking resemblance to another Chillingo title, Storm the Train, since both games possess a plethora of power ups and achievements to keep you hooked for hours. The gold collected during each of your games will be spent on different power ups to help you survive and rack up your overall score. Within each mission, you must accomplish a certain of tasks, and once you complete those goals, an entire new set of objectives fall onto your lap. Whether it's saving up enough gold to buy cool stuff or just completing challenges, there really are no boring or repetitive moments in Sky Hero. As for the power ups, watching my soldier daydream for several seconds while making it rain with gold is a pretty sight to see.
Credit also goes to the developers for giving gamers a decent head start in the game. You earn 2,500 gold coins just for "liking" Sky Hero on Facebook, and another 2,500 coins are added if you follow them on Twitter. Having a 5,000 coin advantage before you play a single game is a definite plus, especially since grabbing coins while falling and avoiding your death is not an easy job. Since I've spent my money on unlocking levels and power ups, I need to save my coins for the Customs section of the store, since those hipster glasses are calling my name.
I probably sound like a total Chillingo shill, but I enjoy most of the games under their creative umbrella. Sky Hero, with its wildly appealing and downright exhilarating game play, is at the top of the list. Currently there are 48 total Game Center achievements for Sky Hero, and I will complete each and every one of them, no matter how far I fall.