Skyworld is an Arena-Style Strategy Card Game for Tabletop Fans

Skyworld is a tabletop VR that's turn-based, relies on strategy, and has arena-style combat that put you in charge of overseeing each world as a general. This has options to play it in player versus AI or player against player.

I dove into general versus an AI demon because I'd much rather play my first few games as a learning experience than fully diving into a multiplayer or skirmish game in real-time. Although, if you're confident in your and resource game you could totally jump in.

For this review, I played on Normal for the Introduction and for Chapter 1: A New World in Campaign mode, which took 2 hours in separate sessions.

I've played tabletop games like Magic: The Gathering, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and other card games with friends before, so I figured the learning curve would be somewhere in the middle for Skyworld.

If you're a beginner to card games, Vertigo Games and Wolfdog Interactive make it comfortable for anyone to jump in and play with step-by-step instructions given a guide, Lord Wadsworth.

Lord Wadsworth helps players/generals learn to use their Building, Card, Resource, and Control panels to play the game. Your aim is to build and maintain mills, iron mines, stone quarries, sawmills, and magic towers.

Learning to place buildings and workers around the map and managing them to have a steady output of supply and food were challenging to manage. However, if you can multitask in real life, you can do this in VR.

Playing Against AI Challengers

As the general, you're initially given 8 cards and earn more over time. Upgrading cards increase their hit points and stats by expending some of your resources. These cards are your archers, swordsmen, knights, battling rams, freeze and fire attacks. There are more types, but I didn't get that far.

Soldiers and attacks are moving figurines under your control, can be leveled up (before battle), and have specific amounts of mana that can only be used if the mana pool has enough in it. Mana fluctuation is helpful so you and other players don't have a chance to spam attacks against newer players.

What I found helpful to tabletop combat:

  • Make sure you've got each path towards the enemy castle covered with fighters if you can.
  • Don't let the demons trample over the midpoint and onto the launch pads that will activate floating weapons. Take these points over with your fighters so they turn and attack the enemy castle instead of yours.
  • Protect your general's castle, stand to get a better vantage point of the arena, and strategize attacks on towers and then the castle.

Extra tip: Save your game before exiting.

Skyworld is an Oculus, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality game that will be released on PSVR in January 2019. It's a whole lotta fun with its arena-style combat once you get the hang of it.

I got a real sense of victory when I managed to out-strategize my AI opponents. Thinking ahead and reacting quickly while learning how to manage my fighters and mana against the enemy took some time and patience but were easy enough to understand so that I left it with my confidence intact.

Skyworld is definitely a VR game I'll play again and recommend to my card gaming friends looking for a game to absorb their interest into.

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