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 stretches of the road, in order to reach the end of each track. The roads begin fairly simple, but become much harder as you progress. Most of the earlier stages give you an ample supply of fuel and oxygen, but later stages are more like racing tracks where you have very tight margins.
The game is based off an earlier game called Kosmonaut released by the same developers. A Christmas-themed level pack was 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 finished 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, after trying again with a proper keyboard, I still found that I couldn't beat the most difficult roads, and no longer had the patience to try.
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.
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 a few background images and has 30 new roads, but it doesn't change the music or sound effects. Also, 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.