Skyhill on Nintendo Switch takes place in a world which has been ravaged by World War III. Oh, and there are also mutants everywhere. Learn more in our Skyhill review!
You’re in town for a short business trip, so you decide to splurge a bit and get a very nice suite at a hotel. This is how you end up on the 100th floor of the Skyhill hotel, right before things around the world start to go wrong. Sure, the view from the suite is great, but being on the 100th floor during this situation, well, it’s certainly not ideal. You get to witness how a massive bomb goes off in the middle of the city, and it is then that all hell breaks loose.
Before you start a run, you can select one passive perk and one active perk for your character. As you start your first run you will notice that you don’t have any perks from which to select, so you’ll need to explore the hotel and go downstairs to start to unlock some of these perks for you to try out in the many, many future runs you will end up doing. You can explore by clicking on a new room or floor, to then review what is available in said room that could prove to be useful for yourself, and for the other potential survivors.
Every time you move to a different room or area in the hotel, your character’s hunger will grow by one point, since you’re basically performing a physical activity using stored energy. You can check how hungry your character is by reviewing the hunger bar, which is right below your health bar. You should eat the food you find or the dishes and drunks you craft to keep your character healthy, so be sure to check how much each food item helps your character recover! As a rule, food that you cook into dishes or the drinks that you mix will always help you recover more from your hunger than if you consumed them separately.
As you explore each area, you need to be aware of the fact that you can end up running into a monster. Fighting them with your bare hands is not a good idea, so be sure to find or craft a weapon as soon as possible. When in a fight, you’ll be able to target different parts of a monster to potentially deal damage within different ranges at varying percentages of potential success. Missing with an attack leaves you wide open to an attack from the monster, and it won’t stop fighting you until either it or you does. Defeat the monster, and you will gain experience points that will help you level up. You will also run into some crazy humans that will attack you for a bit and run away if you don’t kill them fast enough, only to find them again in a different room.
When you do that, you will be able to increase your stats (strength, speed, dexterity, and accuracy) by using the skill points you’ve obtained. Boosting your strength will increase the base damage done with strength based weapons, as well as the chance to land a critical hit; speed will allow you to will increase the base damage done with speed based weapons, as well as the chance to get an extra turn; increasing your dexterity will increase the base damage done with dexterity based weapons, as well as the chance to dodge attacks; and increasing your accuracy will greatly boost your hit chance percentage.
When you’re not fighting, you can explore the room you are in to try and find some items to use, weapons to equip, or for things that you can use for crafting. You can craft different items at the workbench in your room, as long as you have the items needed for it, and have the “recipe” for it unlocked. Weapons, Vip-Room items, and those that fall under the Other category must be crafted in your room, but simple food – such as juice, a cocktail, a fruit salad, or a cheese sandwich -, as well as medkit items – which include painkillers, antidotes, small and large healing medkits, or bandages- can be crafted at any time. You can improve your workbench and kitchen to unlock more stuff to craft, so do keep that in mind!
You will end up receiving a lot of damage as you fight the monsters, so you should always have at least a small medkit with you at all times. If you run out of med kits, you should return to your room, eat some food (either from your inventory or by crafting something better and more nutritious), and go to sleep to recover some health. The longer your rest, the more you will recover, but you will also become more hungry. There is also the chance of being robbed of some of your stuff while you sleep… or worse.
When you die – and you will die at some point – you will unlock some perks as a reward for your performance. This being a roguelike does mean that after death you will need to start over and that all the rooms you previously explored will be different for your next run, but at least you’re making some progress with every run you do! The more you play, and the lower you go into the hotel floors from your VIP room, the more perks you will unlock, allowing for mixing and matching by selecting one active and one passive perk to change your overall experience.
Skyhill is a fun minimalist take on the survival horror genre. You’re exploring on a 2D plane with a set number of objectives at all times, and no chance of getting lost along the way since all you’re doing is walking up, down, left and right into and out of rooms. The hunger meter is manageable, as long as you always explore every room you visit and make a habit of cooking some meals or mixing some drinks with the items you find. Properly leveling up your character will also be a must, especially by taking into consideration the type of weapon you are using to survive. If you’re looking for a fun minimalist roguelike on Nintendo Switch that will not overwhelm you, then Skyhill is a good option.
This Skyhill review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Klabater.