Bluemoon’s creation of SkyRoads was a polished-up remake of the game Kosmonaut. The three months spent working on it paid off when the shareware title was released in 1993, selling internationally and getting LCR distribution deals from the U.S. to Taiwan.
The game’s interface was an instant hit with downloaders. The spacebar and up/down/left/right keys were used to create an easy “jump and move” motion. Up made the ship go faster, down made the ship go slower. Meters at the bottom indicate your ship’s speed, Oxygen Levels, and Fuel Levels. The meter to the left indicates how far you are into the level, next to a grav-o-meter that describes the planet’s gravity (100 is the lowest, giving a weightless feeling, and 1700 is the highest, allowing no jumping.) Obstacles exist in your path, which, if run into at any speed above very low, will cause your ship to explode. Also, if your ship does not land on a road, it will drift off into space forever. If your ship runs out of fuel or oxygen, your game is over.
The demo and full versions of both games are now available for download as freeware from the homepage of Bluemoon Interactive (link below).
Certain colors on the roads indicate special properties:
Dark Gray: You can’t steer your ship left or right. (called “Slippery” in the game)
Dark Green: You will decelerate quickly. (called “Sticky” in the game)
Light Green: You will accelerate quickly. (called “Boost” in the game)
Light Red: Your ship will explode. It is safe to be on the very edge of a light red square. (called “Burning” in the game)
Blue: Refills your oxygen and fuel. Several levels have hidden blue tiles that must be reached in order to complete the level. (called “Supplies” in the game)
The game always ends with a tunnel that ends into space, signifying a win.
Following the success of the original Skyroads, Bluemoon have released a “Skyroads XMAS-Special” version, which featured the exact same interface and features, but different and considerably harder levels beyond the surprisingly tame Snowbound (with the possible exception of the last level of the original Skyroads, which is still considered a notch above all others in difficulty by some, while others find the final level, or even the final two levels of the Xmas edition to be far tougher). Because of this substantial increase in difficulty, the XMAS-Special version never became as popular as the original.
Bluemoon made a simple non-interactive hardware demo to be bundled for the Texas VR gear company titled Stellar Xpress which effectively was a more modern update to SkyRoads/Kosmonaut.