I love classic arcade shooters! Neon graphics, fast moving foes, and chirpy sound effects. That style takes me back to the days of playing Asteroid or Galaga on massive cabinets, where reflexes and planning were fundamental and a quarter only bought 3 lives. Spikepit Games brings some of that feeling back with Plasma Sky, but you can keep the change in your pocket.


Like other entries in the Shmup (Shoot'em Up) category, you are in control of a gunship as it battles through an army of oncoming foes. The standard fare of choreographed enemy waves and boss fights is backed by a familiar old-school techno beat, and collectable power-ups improve the ship's guns and grant special advantages like slowing enemies to a crawl. However, unlike most games of this type, the onboard weapons slowly wane in power without regularly consuming upgrades. Developer John Dunbar took his inspiration from old Commodore 64 games which he loved as a kid. In many ways, his creation feels exactly like games I enjoyed 20 years ago, but the graphics are much better and I can have it on my Nexus 7.

At no point does Plasma Sky feel like a bullet-hell shooter, despite filling the screen with all manor of potential destruction. Many games in this category involve franticly darting around the screen while others are like an elegant dance to avoid an oncoming wave of attacks, this is definitely the latter. The 80-level Conquest mode permits unlimited continues, something of a necessity when death comes quite easily. A Hardcore mode is also available and offers technically endless levels but, without continues, it's unlikely that any players will ever reach the 81st stage. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of content and the two play modes don't offer much replay potential, but that is common in this category and could change with future updates. Still, gameplay is very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre. Plasma Sky is available from the Play Store for $1.99 and has no in-app purchases.