Skydiving Challenge (by Digital Chocolate)


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Jumping out of an aircraft with a parachute strapped to your back is a brave move. Jumping out of an aircraft when you have to pick up said safety net mid-air, however, verges on plain
stupid. That's exactly the kind of uninviting task Skydriving Challenge throws at you from the word 'go', though it has to be said that realism isn't the game's primary concern. Indeed, play the game for any length of time and you'll realise that neither is skydiving. Sky drive Instead, what's on offer is a strict test of your reactions, where the idea is to respond to the environment as quickly as you can in order to land safely on two feet. 

Skydiving Challenge is no solo affair, and to make it to the ground safely you have to beat a fellow flyer to the one parachute on offer on the way down. Your movements en route are fairly restricted. As well as drifting left and right with '4' and '6' respectively, you can also speed up your descent by holding down the '8' key, which turns you into a speeding missile of sorts. The only problem is, doing so means you're unable to pick up the air capsules that keep you alive. Miss out on too many and you'll pass out. 

 

There are also balloons to avoid as you hurtle towards the ground - handily bypassed if you perform a trick with the '5' key in time - and rocket packs that give you a handy boost on occasion. Flying farce The whole thing feels like a take on Doodle Jump, albeit in reverse, with success relying on your ability to dart to where you're needed within a moment's notice. Early on, however, the bulk of the levels act as little more than window dressing for the main event: being first to the parachute. It's a one-sided setup that Digital Chocolate attempts to rectify as the game's gears shift up, most notably with bouts of turbulence. Fighting against the gusts that result requires you to hammer left or right in order to stay on track, but your ability to do so is severly restricted by unresponsive controls, wrecking levels that were otherwise going to plan almost at random. It's evidence of a game that, on its own, has proven to be too simplistic. Skydiving Challenge resorts to throwing hurdle after hurdle at you in a bid to slow you down, when in reality the game's central thread doesn't have what it takes to halt your progress on its own. 

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