A Paladin’s Steam Review: Skyward Collapse, An Intriguing Combination of God Game and Turn-Based Strategy.


Steam Review for Skyward Collapse – Windows, Mac & Linux.

Updating one of my worst reviews from a few years ago into something that’s actually helpful for you.

I’m currently in the middle of the second round of updating my Steam reviews to the new format. While I talk about some of my reviews being bad, I think I’ve found a new low. Here’s the original review that was posted to Steam:

Here’s a game that really tries to do something unique and got shot down for it. This god-game didn’t get nearly the amount of attention it deserved. It’s been said by someone else that its like playing Chess against yourself and you’re a total jerk. This is game that takes quite a bit of learning to figure out what each unit does and how things affect each other. Information with this game is way more obtuse than it should be.

All expected PC settings are in this game. Multiplayer is ok and is servicable, but I think the meat of the game is in playing against yourself. The Japanese DLC faction adds some really interesting units that can make or break your day hehe.

This is a game you should really give a chance. If for no other reason that it tries to do something unique in a genre that has largely been dead of innovation for a long time. Skyward Collapse…why did they have to have free will?! is such a great tagline for this game. Check it out!

Wow that is spectacularly bad for me. It says very little of substance about gameplay, balance or even my personal feelings towards the game. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I didn’t write it. And the 5 out of 8 (63%) helpful rating is more than fair. Its not a good review. Well, I decided to sit down (and spend way too much time on this) and write a better review, link to the Steam version here.

A Paladin’s Steam Review: Skyward Collapse. An Intriguing Combination of God Game and Turn-Based Strategy.

  • Genre: Turn Based Single & Co-Op Player Strategy God Game
  • Developed and Published by: Arcen Games
  • Platform: Windows, MacOSX and Linux
  • Business Model: Base Game + Expansion DLC
  • Copy Gifted by a Friend

Overall Gameplay Thoughts
Skyward Collapse is a combination of turn-based strategy and god game elements. Where your goal is to keep two factions in a balanced war while building up the continent they exist on. If one side takes out the other, it’s game over. The trick to accomplishing balance is that you have no direct control over the faction’s actions, there are independent factions and cataclysmic events that can change the landscape.

You don’t have direct control over the units in the game but you can influence each faction and their actions. Each turn you can create land tiles, military/resource buildings and semi-direct the flow of the game. While you might think “just turtle/don’t build units and you’ll achieve easy balance”, well, Skyward Collapse won’t let you. You have to achieve certain point goals every X turns or you’ll fail the game. And you only get points through units/buildings being destroyed. Expect units and buildings to die. A lot. You’ll need to keep producing more buildings and units for each side to kill. Keeping this balanced is exceptionally tricky, especially when chaotic forces intervene. Just so you know, you do have some direct actions you can take such as smiting buildings or putting down a way point that the faction may or may not respond to. So you’re not completely helpless.

Learning Curve
The game has a fairly difficult learning curve to it, though it’s not TOO dense. There is a tutorial which can introduce you into the game and give you a good idea of what’s what. But you’ll have to figure out several tech trees, which buildings are important and what units are most effective towards your goals. Additionally, each faction has a distinctive personality with their strengths and weaknesses to understand. The UI is great with displaying information but the amount of information can be overwhelming at times. The game itself can be chaotic with the neutral factions spawning their units and Woes creating widely variable situations (think plagues or earthquakes splitting the lands). There is a LOT of content in this game and learning it will take a decent amount of time. You’ll be playing a few maps to really get your head around it.

PC Settings & Multiplayer
V-Sync, resolutions, audio sliders and mouse options (edge-scrolling, speed, etc) are here. There isn’t any important settings missing. Skyward Collapse is very stable, having no visible bugs or crashing problems. The Cooperative aspect in this game is ok but it feels a bit bare-boned. All your friend(s) can do is be a creator and try to keep things in balance with you. The soundtrack has a mellow piano and guitar setup, keeping you relaxed even in the most intense/frustrating situations you’ll often find yourself in. While it isn’t the most distinctive of the soundtracks Pablo Vega has made, it works very well for this game.

Additionally, you have a lot of options to change how easy or difficult the game can be. You can increase how Woe’s (special events) impact the game, how stringent the score requirement per round will be and how many turns you must survive in order to succeed.

Final Thoughts
Skyward Sword is one of Arcen’s more intriguing and, in my opinion, well executed experiments. The combination of god game & turn based strategy works very well. I really enjoyed building up cities and seeing armies fighting it out while I watched from above. The flow of the game will swing one way to the next as events happen, really giving me that “one more turn” craving. While not having direct control made me feel a bit passive or understandably frustrated when things go horribly wrong, it’s still a lot of fun. You should also pick up the DLC for the complete experience as it gives you another mechanic to win the game and the Japanese faction to really spices things up. Skyward Collapse is a definite recommendation from me.


I think that’s miles better than what I had. I think the main reason the original review was so bad was the time I posted it. Posted back in 2013, probably during my most recent stint at College . When I was changing my “review voice” as it were but not being certain what it was. At least my early stuff has a voice in there but this has none of it. Well, I’ve fixed it now and I feel it’s more respectful not only to you as readers but to Arcen Games as well. That’s all I have to say at this point.

Thanks for reading!


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