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Home / Reviews / Apps and Games / Android / App of the week: Glitchskier review

App of the week: Glitchskier review

It’s shooty time again, this time as a little spaceship stuck inside a computer being hacked in the 1980s

We all like to claim games are all about gameplay and that visuals don’t matter a jot. But that’s a massive fib. Glitchskier is a case in point.

It’s a fairly conventional vertically scrolling shooter, wedged somewhere between arcade classic Xevious and modern-day bullet-hell. But Glitchskier exists in its own little aesthetic and conceptual world – one that elevates what might have been a routine (if playable) title into something far more exciting.

Old-school cool

Firing up Glitchskier is a surreal experience. A logo flickers into life, and you hear keys clattering and ancient PC beeps, before being faced with a desktop seemingly being beamed to your tablet or phone from 1982.

A weird squelchy soundtrack then plays, transforming Glitchskier into something almost filmic, somewhat bringing to mind Her Story. And at this point you haven’t even started playing yet.

Fiddle around with the desktop icons in front of you, and Glitchskier proper reveals itself. A little craft is hemmed into a section of a world full of broken code and seemingly furious chunky characters intent on your destruction, all backed by meaty sound effects and a head-bobbing electronic soundtrack.

Hack attack

Hack attack

You dodge and weave, firing back at your aggressors whenever you can. Weapon pick-ups arm your craft with everything from massive laser beams to spinning wheels of bullet doom.

The pick-ups add strategy, too – your craft can hold only a limited number, so you must pick and choose carefully. And they also act as shields, taking a hit when you mess up – at which point the game slows down, potentially helping you escape a spot of bother.

You might for a while then wonder if things are getting a bit too easy. Typically, Glitchskier then flings a boss or manic section of craziness your way, rewarding any complacency by abruptly ending your go in a hail of bullety death.

Sharp shooter

Sharp shooter

That said, you will finish the game fairly rapidly if you’ve an iota of shooty skills in your pointing digit. Glitchskier is only four levels long, as it turns out. But even this brevity doesn’t do the game a disservice. The main mission becomes a high-score chaser, challenging you with figuring out how to up your score by blowing up more things next time round.

And those desktop icons? Well, they then warrant further exploration. Fiddle around in one folder and you’ll find alternate colour schemes to mess around with – assuming you grabbed relevant pick-ups during play. And next to the main .exe file will lurk an endless mode – and that one takes no prisoners.

Glitchskier is available for Android and iOS. A direct download version that unlocks access for Windows/macOS/Android

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

A smart, stylish shooter for mobile, with a sting in its tail when you unlock the endless mode

Good Stuff

Great aesthetics

Smart power-up system

Endless mode will punch your face off

Bad Stuff

Main mission is short

Profile image of Craig Grannell Craig Grannell Contributor


I’m a regular contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv, covering apps, games, Apple kit, Android, Lego, retro gaming and other interesting oddities. I also pen opinion pieces when the editor lets me, getting all serious about accessibility and predicting when sentient AI smart cookware will take over the world, in a terrifying mix of Bake Off and Terminator.

Areas of expertise

Mobile apps and games, Macs, iOS and tvOS devices, Android, retro games, crowdfunding, design, how to fight off an enraged smart saucepan with a massive stick.

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