How do you balance -- and indeed encourage -- a war between factions without letting either side obliterate the other? How do you rule over gods, creatures, and men who refuse to obey you? How do you build a landscape of villages when bandits and mythology are conspiring to tear it down?
User reviews:
Mixed (245 reviews) - 42% of the 245 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 23, 2013

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Includes 2 items: Skyward Collapse, Skyward Collapse: Nihon no Mura

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"I can never play Skyward Collapse again. I work from home. Frankly, having it – and the accompanying temptation – within arm's reach would be detrimental to my productivity."
Richard Mitchell, Joystiq

"Skyward Collapse offers a unique twist on a stagnant genre"
9/10 - Rob Savillo , GamesBeat

About This Game

How do you balance -- and indeed encourage -- a war between factions without letting either side obliterate the other? How do you rule over gods, creatures, and men who refuse to obey you? How do you build a landscape of villages when bandits and mythology are conspiring to tear it down? Skyward Collapse places you into the role of The Creator, and frees you to tackle these problems your own way. Brought to you by the developer of the modern strategy classic AI War: Fleet Command, Arcen's second full strategy title is equally unique (but far easier to learn): a turn-based 4x strategic god-game.

Your task is to build and populate the floating continent of Luminith. You create -- but cannot control -- gods, creatures, and artifacts from both Greek and Norse mythology. The power you wield with these is immense: Heimdall's horn causes everyone outdoors to drop dead, for crying out loud. Your task is to keep both factions alive and fighting until The Master calls you home -- but this is harder than it sounds. Bandit Keeps pop up periodically, as do Woes such as floods, serial killers, guild strikes, and vegetarian uprisings. Every game plays out differently, and you'll need even the craziest of your powers in order to survive what lies in store for you.

Game Features

  • A turn-based strategic god-game where you control neither faction, but instead strive to maintain the balance of power.
  • Make towns and war as the boardgame-like floating continent continues to construct itself around you.
  • Persuade your minions into doing what you want by controlling the circumstances of their (brief) lives.
  • 16 gods, each with unique passive abilities and three active powers, help you further your goals as you pass into the Age of Monsters.
  • Level up your player profile by winning games. Twelve unlockable buildings in all!
  • Straightforward controls paired with an intuitive and helpful interface make this an easy title to pick up... but the strategy runs deep.
  • Multiple difficulty levels let you play a very relaxed game up to a nail-bitingly difficult one. There's no one best way to win!
  • Co-op multiplayer for up to 8 players.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor:1.6Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • OS:Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor:1.6Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • OS:Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor:1.6Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (245 reviews)
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192 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
76 of 89 people (85%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2014
This is probably the first Arcen game that didn't hit the mark. All of their games so far have been fresh and quite fun, but have also always been flawed. None of them have been perfect, but they were innovative, and always try a different formula of game and were ultimately fun to mess around.

Skyward Collapse is another really cool idea, but the game doesn't come together. Resource management is tedious, the idea is really cool, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Turns keep taking longer, and every turn becomes a bit more boring than the last. I really want to like this game, but the longer it drags on, the more you see the game's flaws come together and create this game where there's a lot of different parts of the game that either don't feel fun, or feel out of place.

If you're interested, make sure you watch some gameplay, or try out some demo's. This game just isn't for me.
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81 of 116 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2014
Perhaps I had too high of expectations for this game, but unfortunately, it didn't live up to them.

In more ways than one, Skyward Collapse feels more like a mobile game than one which, it seems to me, was developed for desktop computing. Its simple graphical sprites would feel right at home on a tablet, but seem out-of-place on a PC. Making matters worse, the clunky user interface manages to simultaneously overwhelm the player with information, while not giving her enough data with which to learn the game.

Though the tutorial helps by walking the player through the early steps of gameplay, it seems very fond of telling her about things you'll have to worry about later on in gameplay, without telling her any appropriate steps to take when she does encounter them.

By and large, however, the major strike against this game is, well, it's boring. After the initial setup period, gameplay becomes unbearably slow, a pain which is only mitigated by the shortness of the games themselves. The position the game puts the player in changes throughout the game, leading to what are arguably contradictions: she has both the power to summon wild beasts and unquestioningly place down buildings to aid the mortals, but is subject to the resources they have on hand. Resources the game is fond of telling the player she's missing, but not how to acquire without a scavenger hunt through the long-winded information prompts scattered throughout the game.

While Skyward Collapse shows great potential through its promotional screenshots and videos, it fails to live up to it in execution, leading me as a player to be very disappointed in the overall game.
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34 of 46 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
If being a God is like this game, it's pretty lame. Let's be honest: it's not the worst game ever, it's a game that is just average in everything. The graphics are pretty simple, and I understand that top notch graphics aren't required to a game be any good, but the lack of things like character animation make this title looks worst than most of f2p cell phone games.

The objective is very inovative and distinctive from other God games: you should keep the balance between the factions. But it's simple boring, sometimes I just skip to the next turn waiting for something to happen, sometimes you need to make your "civs" ready to wage war, because there are an amount of points required to win the match in each difficult. And... that's it.

The interface is kinda messy, the game doesn't do a very good job in order to show to you what is needed to be built and what are the requirements for each unit... I'm not saying that this info isn't available, it's just so much pain to get to it.

So, let's wrap up: the concept is great, the interface is messy and clunk, the graphics are sub par and the music is quite good. Thats it, I can't recommend this game, but I would like to see this concept in a more polished and diversified game.
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46 of 69 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 1, 2014
My biggest problem with this game is that the ai does not do anything. both sides will stagnate and not do anything if left alone, and you are tasked with growing them to defend against bandits while stoping them from killing eachother, this is not entertaining. you end up having to grow both sides while defending against bandits, and it fails to feel like these are 2 civilizations, they are more like blocks you throw down, compleately inanimate.

This can be fun, but you end up having to build the entire game and create everything becuse they won't build a single hut on thier own. I would enjoy the game alot more, if they showed a little bit of autonomy.
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31 of 43 people (72%) found this review helpful
67.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2014
Skyward Collapse asks its player to take on the role of a mighty demon, sworn to maintain the world in a state of war for all eternity. For three ages, he must torment mankind with the endless misery of constant war, balancing the bloodshed and destruction so that neither side of the conflict wipes the other out. Only if the ground is soaked with enough blood and tears will he be victorious. It's not billed to the player that way, of course.

Skyward Collapse is an odd little turn-based strategy game where the player controls the building but not the movements of both sides of an ongoing war. The player chooses where each civilization's 5x5 towns will be placed on the game's isometric rhombic grid, and what buildings will be in them in what arrangement. Once units start coming out of those buildings, however, they do whatever they want.

While the player can exert some control by altering the landscape of the constantly-growing field of play, doing so drains actions he could be using to enhance his cities. The core idea here is actually quite clever, and maintaining the balance of power under these conditions poses a fair challenge.

The game is divided into three "ages," and the player has to meet a score requirement at the end of each to continue (or, in the final age, to win). The only way to score, however, is for units to die or buildings to get destroyed. I suppose it's obvious that I found that representation distasteful.

Skyward Collapse adds to the challenge with "Woes," which are random events that can cause most of the map to turn into mountain terrain, or all the units to wander around aimlessly, or giant monsters to appear everywhere. Bandit Keeps full of non-aligned units also form frequently, sometimes quite close to towns, and can pose a serious danger to the civilization balance because their units tend to be seriously overpowered.

The mighty bandits and deadly catastrophes mean that most of the time the game's civilizations are endangered more by the environment than each other. To meet these threats, the player has the ability to summon magical creatures and objects for either side, some of which can unleash the power of ancient gods worshiped by the denizens of his tiny world.

The gods and monsters come from Greek and Norse mythology. While each has an impressive array of specific units, unique monsters and appropriate deities, most of the buildings are nonspecific, which gives the towns a samey feel. This is compounded, especially in the early game, by the fact that no matter how different the buildings look, the resources and support buildings needed to produce specific units are pretty much the same. As a result, most of the towns end up being pretty similar.

The endgame suffers from a complementary problem. Once the production of units is well and truly going (and especially if the sides really are evenly matched) there's not a lot for the player to do. In most of my games I spent the endgame fast-forwarding as much as I could, only making adjustments when a town was in serious danger. The AI sometimes has curious priorities—I once watched a massive army parade peacefully past a minotaur that was destroying their city—but it generally works well enough that there's no need to interfere by altering the landscape.

This means that of the game's three ages, only 1.5 or so end up being interesting. The foundational work of making the first towns is too similar, while the player's role in the final conflicts is too passive. That compounds the unpleasant premise of Skyward Collapse with somewhat boring play. Not only did I have to be incredibly evil, I didn't even get to have fun doing it.

The core idea of a balancing a strategy game with limited player control is intriguing, but I found the execution of that idea, and the representations it used, unsatisfying. Arcen has made an ongoing and admirable effort to keep tweaking the game, but I'm just not sure that anything they can do will address the essential dullness of its opening and closing phases.
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 5, 2015
It's an interesting premise; I rushed to it because I missed playing god games. Unfortunately, it doesn't manage to be a very good god game, leaning more towards the TBS side, and it's not a great TBS either. If you're anything like me, you'll probably love it for the first 20 rounds or so; then your interest will fall more and more. By turn 70 I just wanted it to be over.

Some have said that the main problem is a lack of challenge: once you figure out how to play it, that's it. But if that was the case, you could just get more bandits and woes. (In fact, I managed to lose it once, and that didn't make it much more interesting.) In my opinion the problem lies elsewhere: it gets repetitive, and it feels pointless. In a god game, you usually have a “project” in your head, something you want to do; in an RTS or TBS, you're constantly under pressure by the opponent(s). Here neither thing happens: no use having a project because you have very little control over what will get destroyed, and also because there is simply not that much you can do; and the pressure simply isn't there either, since winning is “score X points and make sure both factions survive” — once you reach the required score and have one well-fortified town of each faction safely away from the conflict areas, it's an annoying game of attrition.

Again, it's a very interesting premise, and I'll keep an eye on it — it has a lot of potential to be fixed in an expansion or sequel. But as it currently stands, I don't think it works.
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30 of 43 people (70%) found this review helpful
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Skyward Collapse is a turn based god/strategy game. The goal of the game is to balance two opposing factions by supplying them with resources and buildings. You must cause enough chaos between the two factions to get your score high enough to pass through three rounds until you reach the end of the game to achieve a victory.

Skyward Collapse features one of the best tutorials I've seen in awhile. The game can be overwhelming at first, but the tutorial does a great job of holding your hand through your first game. The tutorial will teach you the basics of the game while giving you the freedom to play around and experiment as you see fit. You won't know 100% of everything after your first play-through, but you should understand the basic concepts and be ready to play a better game on your 2nd time around.

Skyward Collapse features very basic animation and graphics, it's best to think of it like a board game. Units move around the game like pieces on a board, and when they fight, they just bump into each other until one falls off the board.

I would say if you are interested by this review at all, you should go ahead and pick the game up. It is only five bucks, and even if you end up hating it, you've only wasted a few dollars. If you do not like turn based strategy, or if a lack of graphics or animation is a big turn off, stay clear of this one.

For more info, you can find my full review here:
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 12, 2015
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.

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18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
33.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
I really like this game for it's somehow chaotic gameplay which makes it unique in the strategy genre. It is turn based and best comparable to a very complex board game. This is also how it is presented.
You as a player have limited and mostly indirect control over what happens. There are many random variables. But the offered possibility space of what to do to react on the events is strikingly huge. Every time I start a new round I find something new to try out.
It has its lengthy parts and I think the 60 rounds variant is much more enjoyable than the standard of 90 rounds per match.
I think the suspense in this game is great. For the first 90% of the game you have to do careful adjustments to keep your civilizations alive. But when it becomes obvious that you are about to win it's up to you to wreak as much havoc as possible. As you only get points for destroyed buildings and units. This is immensely satisfying.
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22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 8, 2013
Probably one of the more strict-definition "God" games out there, in that you're the kind of deity who a) exists and b) does what he can for his people but c) can't order them to do jack-♥♥♥♥ because Free Will.

That said? This is a fantastic concept and I actually love it. You manage a pair of nations (and I believe a third with the recent DLC?) turn by turn, with equal moves apiece, reshaping the world and controlling the resources of each side. Afterwards, every living player from those factions makes their moves, and you hope you've done enough to keep them both safe (from roaming bandits, one another, and horrible curses known as Woes). The game's not so easily solved, though, due to the random factors that'll shake things up. Tiles appear after every turn to fill in gaps in the floating world you manage, and again, bandits/Woes.

I don't know how long I'll stick with this after finishing a few games? But it's totally a fantastic title and the recent overhaul patch makes me wonder if more tweaks like that might hook me further. I would love for this to be the birth of a new strategy niche.
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Recently Posted
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 22
excellent game!! Even graphics are great after a fewminutes. balancing two factions isnt easy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
66.4 hrs
Posted: September 7
Do the tutorial, and be sure to fully understand how the factions need ressources to build units and start fighting.
Don't try to finish it after they presented you all the rules & stuffs or you'll be bored of the game before it really started: the tutorial's end is too easy and long/dull, uninteresting.

Instead, start a game in Hard or even higher difficult, and try surviving the ensuing chaos.
Then, try meeting the score requirements by managing that anarchy and using it for your own needs.
Then, love the game, as it's a really good anarchy-generator (in higher difficulties, where all the game really is) thrown in a puzzle/management game with scoring goals.

Also funny with several players, allowing more actions per turns!
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0.6 hrs
Posted: September 7
Product received for free
This game is very loosely based on settlers of catan/civilization1-5. It was an interesting play. One MAJOR shortcoming is to play multiplayer you need someones direct IP to play. Thats a huge security flaw. You can play on your local LAN, but that doesnt help if you want to play with a friend across the country.
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29.0 hrs
Posted: August 25
Skyward Collapse is a very unusual game. An odd duck of sorts.

You control or rather help both oppoosing factions. You are striving for balance, but balance will be impossible to maintain. All your helpful nudges and interventions will get out of control and tip the scale towards either one faction - initially - or complete and utter chaotic powercreep (when you devastate the landscape, unleash minor gods, mythic creatures, wonders and miracles to "balance" whatever imbalance has crept in, trying to delay the inevitable).

Motto: "You are your own worst enemy. Every single one of your problems was caused by you and every solution is a future disaster in the making."

It is a turn-based god game for people who can lose every game (because they all end in disaster). In the end, it becomes a score-hunt or a story-driven experience depending on what kind of player you are.

The UI is minimalistic, I guess, but perfectly sufficient. The game could do better in guiding and explaining things to you (at least I found myself drawn to google after a few games).

I can recommend the (rather cheap) expansion pack, but it will neither make nor break the game for you. If you do like the base game, go get it. If you don't, the expansion won't help. So check out the basic game and if you love it like I do, then get the expansion.

My hourly stats are incorrect, I have played this game quite a bit longer. There is a lot of replayability to challenge yourself ever more (last longer, or more chaos/upheavel). There are also quite few options and game modes to vary the experience.

What kind of gamer will like this? Probably a patient, somewhat puzzle-game appreciatative strategy gamer who cares more about clever mechanics than winning big (or just the spectacular). You will have to rethink your strategy every game and go back to the drawing board to the improve. There is a lot of depth here, but you'll have to think to get there. The game does not hand it to you or guide you along to better strategies.
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7.5 hrs
Posted: August 13
This game isn't that good. But you might like it. If you like this kind of game, the price is fair, no need to wait for a sale.

I personally didn't like the sadistic God theme.
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1.2 hrs
Posted: June 24
Not exactly the best

The premise of the game is to build up 2 distinct factions warring with each other. And to keep things interesting a thrid mean faction shows up and trying to wreck the balance between your trying to create between your two. I think idea behind this game is good it just doesn't turn out to be satifying to play.

A fun thing to expirement with but not something I'd want vest my time in.
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0.5 hrs
Posted: June 4
I only played for 30 minutes (without finishing the tutorial), so caveat lector.

This game offers a strange set of mechanics that are difficult to buy into, and the premise is not motivating. For me, building plain-looking buildings with resource-related effects is not the fun part of land-based strategy games.

It might be well-balanced from a game theory standpoint, but there isn't any kind of hook to make me care. I'd rather just let the factions kill each other!
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Gay Witch Cyrin
74.3 hrs
Posted: June 3
Very well done, but confusing
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2.3 hrs
Posted: April 14

A strategy god game in which you learn about homeostasis by building up two factions at the same time and keeping their military strength equal. Military is important because in order to progress in the game blood must be spilled to earn enough points to keep going.

'Skyward Collapse' offers many unique and divergent design ideas that make it worth checking out what when right and wrong in the final product. As a spoiler to what went wrong, the game starts incredibly slow and would benefit greatly from better feedback for the current state of the gameboard.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: April 10
It's a normal game, however the music is fantastic.
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