Sky Force celebrates its 10 year anniversary as a mobile game with the new free to play release Sky Force 2014. Fans of scrolling based shooters are in for a treat, especially if non-stop action is on their minds.

Mobile based gamers will have a field day with Sky Force 2014, as its intuitive controls are a huge reason for its success. To navigate your craft, you'll press on your device and slide your finger to move your fighter. Your main concern is to dodge gunfire, fly over and rescue hostages, and to avoid crashing into the enemy. Firing your weapon is done automatically, since your ammunition and missiles are automatically released as you fly over the battlefields. Sometimes a bit of simplicity can elevate one's gaming experience, and not having to deal with a multitude of controls turns Sky Force 2014 into a seamless, and inevitably addicting, experience.

Although the visuals aren't exactly eye catching, the warm, muted colors are the perfect fit for this arcade-style shooter. The game's techno soundtrack, though also nondescript, adds to the hypnotic feel of Sky Force 2014. This is a game that was meant to celebrate the past as well as take a few baby steps into the future, and this app successfully balances both worlds.

Infinite Dreams

The free-to-play mechanic is also completely manageable, as you won't be forced to shell out cash for mandatory upgrades that will lengthen your quest. Instead, you'll see advertising pop-ups after finishing a certain stage or an advertising banner may appear on your upgrade page. These are small irritations which are one of the many compromises one makes when engaging with a free-to-play app, and thankfully Sky Force 2014 has built a solid revenue model without sacrificing the gameplay.

Since this is a straight shoot 'em up, there isn't any narrative nuances to discuss. The goal is to move your craft and have it shoot down everything in sight - except for the hostages it saves along the way. As you obliterate tanks, planes, and machine gun turrets, stars will pop up after they explode into nothingness. These stars will serve as the currency to upgrade your craft's strength and weapons systems. Even if you have enough stars to purchase an upgrade, each improvement will take some time to finish. To save yourself the several seconds or minutes of downloading the upgrade, you can also spend a few more stars to have your improvements completed right on the spot.

At the end of each stage, you'll need to destroy a boss to finish your mission. Even if you defeat your enemy and complete the stage, the next level won't be unlocked until you achieve specified goals. You may have to replay certain levels numerous times before moving forward, but since Sky Force 2014 is such an addictive shooter experience, retracing your steps isn't such a big deal.

Infinite Dreams

Sky Force 2014 may have simple ambitions, but it executes these tasks in perfect fashion. If shooters are your cup of tea, you'll be flying these war drenched skies more often than you can imagine. Free to play apps usually come with a ton of compromise, but with Sky Force 2014 the only thing you'll need to buy is time.

This review is based on downloaded copy of Sky Force 2014 for iOS.

App Store Link: Sky Force 2014 for iPhone & iPad | By Infinite Dreams | Price: Free | Version: 1.01 | 115 MB | Rating 9+

8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating