I make an amazing flying squirrel

I do not remember where I first read about Skyrates, but I am totally obsessed with this game right now. It is essentially a steampunk version of Escape Velocity – you captain an airplane and fly from “island” to “island” trading goods and completing missions and shooting down pirates. You can upgrade your ship or buy entirely new ones. As you gain skill points, you can learn new flying maneuvers or open up access to more of the map. The good thing is, this that obsession does not turn into an excessive amount of playing time, because the game is played in real time. If the plane you are flying would take two hours for a trip you have planned out, it takes two hours of actual real-world time for that flight to be completed. You can queue up trading and flight legs and so on, but in the meantime all of the other game players have been flying from island to island completing their own tasks and missions, so you need to be a bit careful. The graphics are cute, with all of the characters being animals, but it is not so twee that you would hate the game if that is not your thing. I am tending to queue up missions three or four times a day and finding it a fun diversion between tackling other projects.

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