Raging Skies is a great 360-degree shooter from Darthlupi, maker of Mage Craft, another Top Dog of ours. Although it is basically a straightforward top-down shooter as far as gameplay goes, numerous touches such as the addition of a world map, fun cutscenes, and cool bombing runs give the game a lot of atmosphere and elevate it above most freeware shooters. You play Cliffton Spoon, a bounty hunter who is trying to make his mark in a future Earth. With your trusty futuristic airplane-cum-spaceship, you will engage in numerous dogfights against the evil "Talon Lords" and their squadron.
Raging Skies reminds me a lot of shareware classic Zone 66... which can only be a good thing. Similar to that game, you have 360-degree movement, and enemies will come at you from all directions. Money can be collected from defeated enemies to buy weapons and upgrades, and I really like the small degree of non-linearity: from the world map, you can choose where your next battle will be, by flying into that sector. This way, you're conducting "bombing runs" to procure more cash for better weapons.
There are four worlds, each new one offering a higher degree of challenge. Cutscenes are interspersed throughout the game to advance the story, and the graphics are very crisp and well-drawn, giving the game a strong retro feel. Music also deserves mention as being very pleasant, and the user interface is intuitive and fluid. I'm usually very bad at shooters, but the difficulty in Raging Skies feels just about right: not so easy as to make you bored, and not so hard as to make you give up in frustration. My only gripe would be that the game feels a bit too short, but that is definitely partly because I had so much fun. Highly recommended to every shooter fan.Reviewed by: Underdogs