War. War never changes. Except the times when there are balloons. In Pilam Sky you play as one of three warring nations that have a goofy and almost ridiculous look to them, but you must protect your nation from those that would invade with the ultimate in battle weaponry, balloons. Yes, that’s right, balloons, gone are the romantic trips though fields of green, replaced with cannons, spikes, and lances.
While the idea of warring nations doing battle sounds both realistic, historic, and very unfunny, the way its presented here is with a childlike mentality with bright colors, and puppet like leaders. It is an interesting way to starting the game albeit a bit confusing. You start off with the most basic of balloons, and you must slowly upgrade your way to victory. You can do this by returning to your mothership blimp after each level and spending your coin in one of many different shops at the home base. For example, if I wanted more piercing power of my spear I would go to the ironworks and see what they have to enhance what I have. Otherwise I might go to the armor dealer to help protect me, though how you protect a blimp with metal easily escapes me.
With your small balloon, you go out to the battlefield below the home base and do battle with the enemy ships by using any means necessary to pop their balloon. You can attack from the side with your spears, from above with dropping bombs, or using artillery from a distance. You of course have to stay on the move the entire time to avoid becoming one of the casualties yourself. It’s something so easy on paper, but quite challenging in the later levels, as you have multiple ways of attacking, but you can’t let your opponent out maneuver you as well by getting above you. There are plenty of different upgrades and weapons to satisfy any gamers battle plan, but in the end getting above the opponent to limit their movement does seem to be the best strategy. That said, you have a very limited area in which to move, because if you move too much to the left or the right, the enemy artillery emplacements will make short work of you no matter how strong you are.
Pilam Sky is what appears to be a very simple game but is deceptively deep in its choices. The juxtaposition of war with smiley cartoon like characters is an interesting choice, and using balloons as weapons of war including lead armor (really?) makes it both funny and violent in a way that’s pleasing to everyone. It has simple controls but an interesting dynamic in how to use them to defeat your enemies while not being pushed around. While I could say that it seems to be more of mobile game, its resolution and graphics are perfectly pleasant enough, even when on the big screen.