Black Skylands Playtest Takes to the Skies Until April 30

Black Skylands looks like a fantastic mix of genres and is slated to release later this year. You can play it now during its open playtest.

Black Skylands looks like a fantastic mix of genres and is slated to release later this year. You can play it now during its open playtest.
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Black Skylands is an upcoming open-world adventure game from tinyBuild, but leaving it at just that description would do the indie title a disservice. We haven’t been able to play it yet, but the gameplay trailer above shows that it’s an adventure shooter where players explore, swashbuckle, and pew pew their way across land and through the sky. And those interested can play it right now. 

The Black Skylands playtest is currently live on Steam and runs until April 30. Those interested can simply opt into the playtest on the game’s Steam page to participate in the playtest. Just scroll down to find the opt-in button underneath the wishlist button in the middle of the page.  

Billed as “Stardew Valley meets Hotline Miami,” Black Skylands plays from a top-down perspective and has a substantial crafting and building element as well.

Players can equip a bevy of weaponry, from shotguns to machine guns, to bring down their foes a la’ Hotline Miami (or some of the maze-like stages of Contra 3: Alien Wars) and hook enemies or zip between gaps with a grappling hook. Of course, there are monsters to tackle as well, with the end of the gameplay video above showing off one such terror. 

On top of that, players can customize their airships with better sails, engines, and more, and build out their base with myriad structures before venturing into the world to take over territory by hook or crook. Developer Hungry Couch Games says that weapons will also be moddable from a pool of “50 mods.” 

Though we haven’t played it just yet (check back soon for our impressions on the playtest), a lot is going on in Black Skylands, all of which has us pretty excited for the game’s Early Access launch sometime in Q2 2021. tinyBuild has yet to reveal a firm release date. Stay tuned. 

About the author

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.