Sky Force Reloaded (XB1) Review

Rinse, repeat, and shoot.

Playing shooters for years now, I always tend to enjoy or find redeeming factors in the genre. Shooting the core or bad guys to rack up high scores, see new bosses, and new enemies/levels becomes a sort of hypnotic trance of bullet shooting and dodging. Here we have Sky Force Reloaded, and I’m sort of bummed how much of a grind there is.

Grind my gears

The main difference in appeal or perhaps deterrence in those looking for the next side scrolling shooter is going rely on one’s ability to grind, or for better words, replay the same stages over and over again. So hear me out, I know that the main appeal of the genre is to go through a stage, learn its levels and enemy patterns and rack up scores in replay. The same still holds true for Sky Force, but there is an added element of grinding that is used. Players will start with a weak ship and have to constantly play the levels over collecting stars in order to upgrade their weapons and health. When I say replay levels, expect to have to play the opening level multiple times to assist in getting the ship better and progressing further. This honestly is a bit too much for me.

MSRP: $9.99
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
Multiplayer: n/a
How long to beat: 5+ hours

Aside from having to replay levels over and over before moving forward, the enemy repetition kicks in far too soon. Luckily, the levels themselves are different and colorful enough, the boss moments are always a thrill and that attempt at trying to land a high score in each run is great. The leveling up just sort of kills forward momentum. I soon realized this game had the design to feel like something players would love on mobile and upon doing a look up online, sure enough, it’s a mobile game port. This makes a bit more sense in that a game here and there on the phone, when in a waiting room or killing time, the grind can feel less in players’ face.

On consoles it’s a bit different, I’m sitting and playing the same stages over and over and over. It’s a bit much, and I simply want to move forward and see the next stage and challenge. The leveling up factor is still fine enough as it is but just feels like the amount it takes to level and unlock more options takes an exorbitant amount of time.


I’ve always enjoyed the genre, and everything in Sky Force Reloaded is solid enough. From a visual, gameplay, and soundtrack standpoint, I’m more than happy. I just can’t shake this feeling that the game was designed to kill hours on the phone, and for me it just doesn’t translate into a great home console experience. I like replaying shooters like this, but I prefer to go through the entire campaign over and over again. Here I’m so burned out on each stage by the time I finish or unlock the next that I don’t want to play anymore, which is never a good sign. Though for the low price, there are much worse things to spend $9.99 on.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Classic shmup gameplay
  • Colorful visuals
  • Solid action
  • Grind, grind, grind
Written by
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.