Overall Score 73%
We all have dreams. Wilford the puppy dreams of flying, of following the birds into the sky rather than pacing up and down in his garden, waiting until supper. He flaps his rather large ears and lifts off the ground. He can fly! Who could resist seeing what's up there?
In Sky Puppy's case, bones are up there. I won't question how bones got up there, or how they hover so - and I'll try to resist puns about light snacks. Your task is to navigate up, up, ever upwards, collecting bones along the way and avoiding any enemies. You have a time limit to reach each new stage - bones add three seconds, while enemies penalise you ten seconds. It is not necessary to get all the bones.
Your main difficulty is that you only have one control - you can flap Wilford's ears by pressing the spacebar. This will make him go up (not pressing it means gravity does the opposite). In order to navigate left or right you either need to land him on a solid surface, at which point he walks back and forth, or bounce him off the screen edges or obstacles. Large blue arrows (I interpret them as air currents) also move him across the screen, not always in the right direction.
Sky Puppy is cartoon in style and aims squarely at "cute" (certainly landing at least very near). Everything is bright and colourful - and large. Sky Puppy is visually very friendly and this, coupled with the controls, makes it very child-friendly. Three music tracks provide pleasant aural stimulation and, while loosely tied to the three difficulty settings, you can choose any you prefer.
There are three difficulty levels to Sky Puppy - the layout of the obstacles and enemies being the main effect - and each has its own high scoring; including account score, stages reached and the time the game lasted. When completing each stage you move on to one of two, depending on your horizontal position - so you can take different routes every game.
Sky Puppy is a very simple game (as reflected by the low price tag) and I am pleased to say I found it polished and professional. There is nothing bad about it except, perhaps, the inability to continue from a previous stage. Children especially may struggle to reach beyond the early stages and, since you must start from the beginning each game, many people may give up before seeing the later ones.
This is a sweet, strange and interesting game certainly capable of an occasional distraction.
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