SkyRoads is a space driving game developed and published by Bluemoon Software and distributed in North America by Creative Dimensions for MS-DOS in 1993. It was originally released as shareware, but later released by the developers as freeware. You control a ship that drives along platforms hanging in outer space. You must jump over gaps, safely enter tunnels, avoid walls, and navigate dangerous and beneficial sections, in order to reach the end of each road. The roads being fairly simple, but become much harder as you progress.
The game is based off an earlier gamed called Kosmonaut released by the same developers. A Christmas-themed level pack with also released called SkyRoads: Xmas Special.
My cousin and I played the shareware version of this game in the mid-1990s and I really liked the concept. Later, I got a pirated version of the game and played through all but 3 of the roads. I was hindered by either a cheap keyboard, or a cheap computer that couldn't handle three simultaneous keystrokes at the same time, so I couldn't jump, accelerate, and turn at the same time, which is pretty much necessary for the more difficult roads. However, trying again with a proper keyboard, I still found that I don't have the patience to beat the most difficult roads.
The game is now freeware. I have not beaten it, but I've gotten close.
Best Version: DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The premise is enjoyable, the controls are good, and the game is fun.
- The background images are a nice mix of surreal and serene.
- The game has great background music by Ott Aaloe, and title music by Hasso Brück.
- Some of the tracks have a pretty clever layout where supplies are hidden and require more aggressive driving to win.
- The levels that play around with gravity and air/fuel help make the game more interesting.
- I especially love the look of the roads in the Misty section, the color gradients are quite beautiful.
- With only 30 levels, a decent player can beat the entire game in about 45 minutes.
- The game could benefit from a story, cut-scenes, and an ending.
- I wish the designers thought up some more special road types other then the five in the game.
- The levels get pretty aggravating near the end, requiring a lot of really difficult jumps in rapid succession.
- The road music is applied randomly, rather than being tuned to a specific road. They lost the chance to add proper mood to certain roads because of this.
- youtube.com/watch?v=26y5PsEJiLA - Longplay.
- youtube.com/watch?v=dGO-CqLt0PM - Xmas Special play-through.
SkyRoads: Xmas Special
In 1994, Bluemoon Software released SkyRoads: Xmas Special. Although it is a stand-alone game, it's really nothing more than a Christmas-themed level pack. It replaces some of the background images and has 30 new roads, but it doesn't change the music or sound effects. Most of the new roads are extremely difficult.
SkyRoads has been released as freeware. This archive contains all of the versions of SkyRoads, the Xmas Special, Kosmonaut, and some editors.
- openroadsgame.com - OpenRoads, play SkyRoads online.