Using the hail of incoming fire against the adversary
Skycadia by Studio Nisse has been a game I've played from time to time when I want to have some fun but also relax. I'm even willing to admit that I have played it during very long-range flights in DCS World and Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Released on December 7th, 2020, Skycadia is a very easy to jump into, cartoonish flight game that evokes memories of Star Fox and Skygunner, being inspired by Devil Daggers (of all things!). It is available on Nintendo Switch, Steam and Xbox One X|S. On July 6th, 2023, the Steam version of Skycadia was updated to 2.0. I prefer the Nintendo Switch version, but it is technically outdated. Let's jump into the newest Steam version for now.
Being fully transparent, I was absolutely obliterated coming back to this game after being away for so long. If there is one thing Skycadia has always been known for, it is the absolute bullet hell the swarms of bug enemies fire at the player. These groups of enemies can form within a matter of minutes if larger enemies that spawn them are not dealt with quickly. With literally dozens of enemies in pursuit, it is possible for players to have their health melted in just a few seconds. Even with its easy to learn controls, pure arcade flight characteristics, and aircraft with different specs, this happens regularly. Not even the all mighty Barrel Roll is a guaranteed success.
When smaller enemy fighters are in low numbers, they can be defeated with basic fighter maneuvers; outmaneuvering them at low speeds, knocking them down one by one. Quick bursts of maximum thrust can also be used to get out of tight spots. However, when there are so many bullets and aircraft in the air it blocks your vision, a change in mindset is needed. Rather than try to shoot down every fighter one-by-one, it is best to keep in mind that at the end of the day the only thing that matter is money.
That's right! Credits. You play as a bounty hunter, after all. When enemies are defeated, they drop large clouds of paper money used for unlocking new characters, weapons and aircraft to be used in Arcade Survival, Story Adventure and Crusin' (free flight) modes. Health items are also dropped.
Skycadia does not stop the enemies from shooting one another down as they wildly spray at the player. As sheets of bullets wizz past the players, they can and will hit other hostiles in the airspace. Because of this, flying defensively while focusing on turns to force the incoming bullets to strike other hostiles can yield a large amount of credits fast, while preserving the player's health.
Utilizing slashing attacks against boss enemies and singling out the slower support enemies is a good practice, while letting the hoard gradually thin itself out is the best practice. Performing maneuvers that work in tight spaces, like the Split-S or Immelmann Turn near especially tough boss level enemies can even shred their armor. They become so weakened, they can be shot down in one or two of the player's strafing runs.
It is important for the player to shoot down enemies when able for the sake of filling up their bounty book, but remember that at the end of the day, credits are the real prize. If stacking up tens of thousands of credits can be done by letting the enemy defeat themselves, why stop them? Rake in that money, buy upgrades and push even harder next time!
About the Writer
Co-founder of Skyward Flight Media. After founding Electrosphere.info, the first English Ace Combat database, he has been involved in creating flight game-related websites, communities, and events since 2005. He explores past and present flight games and simulators with his extensive collection of game consoles and computers. [Profile]