Reach for the Sky is a relatively new game for your Windows Phone 8 device that has a jumper feel to it (e.g. Doodle Jump) but instead of jumping from platform to platform, you guide a hot air balloon up through the sky.
Along the way you collect coins that can used to purchase upgrades and fire balls to keep the hot air balloon afloat. You do have a few dangers to avoid such as ducks and airplanes that will burst your balloon.
Reach for the Sky has promise but could use a little fine tuning to help it off the ground.
The main menu for Reach for the Sky has options to jump into the game, visit the store to buy upgrades, view your game achievements/trophies, check out the online leaderboard and view the about screen. There are no settings for balloon controls, sound/music, etc.
Game play is simple. Guide your hot air balloon up the screen and avoid hazards that will burst your balloon (ducks, airplanes, etc.). There are three levels of play and on the right side of the screen is a meter that displays your progress in the current level of play.
Coins fall from the sky and can be collected and used in the store for upgrades and you need to catch the fireballs that also fall to fuel your balloon. There are also a few bonus items that parachute down the screen to help aid you in your upwards flight.
Steering is done by tapping either side of the screen and your balloon drifts in that direction. Balloon movement does loop the screen, in that if you exit on the left side of the screen you will re-appear on the right side.
The game has pixilated graphics for a retro feel and game play is somewhat challenging. When you collect a fire ball your balloon speeds up a bit and lifts higher up on the screen. This minimizes the reaction time when you run across a hazard. While Reach for the Sky isn't a bad game to pass short bits of time with, there is room for improvement.
I wouldn't have minded seeing an option to use the Windows Phone accelerometer to steer the balloon. Tapping the screen is okay but with the free, ad-supported version you have a tendency to hit the ad banner. Another small quirk deals with the volume. While the music isn't terrible, it would be nice to have the option to mute the music within the app without having to turn down the main volume on your Windows Phone.
Even though there is room for improvement, Reach for the Sky is an enjoyable game for your Windows Phone 8 device. I don't see myself playing marathon sessions with Reach for the Sky but for short bits, the game fits nicely.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.