Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Developer : Groundshatter
Publisher : Ant Workshop
Genre : Arcade | Fighting | Action
Release Date : 29/10/2018
Review Code kindly provided by Caroline Watson
Price : £7.99
(Sky)Scrapping the barrel
What do you get when you mix Ice Climber with Super Smash Bros?
A hot mess that’s what, which might seem a little harsh but for a game that draws so strongly from its inspiration, it’s nigh impossible to see past its inherent flaws. That’s not to say it’s all bad, but overall, it’s hard not to look at SkyScrappers as anything more than a briefly enjoyable yet throwaway title.
Games of SkyScrappers come thick and fast, offering frantic non stop action. To say SkyScrappers is a basic concept is an understated way to describe this vertically challenged climber. You take the role of one of 4 possible protagonists and embark on a quest for supreme bragging rights, of the ‘oh yeah, I defeated all of my foes whilst climbing a collapsing skyscraper’ variety. To achieve your ambitious goals of becoming the greatest brawler to ever traverse a falling building, you can take the Smash Bros. route of smashing your opponents off of the screen. Alternatively you can simply climb to the top of the screen as quickly as possible, in the process condemning your fictional foes to a most gruesome of demises.
The harsh reality is that there is just too much going on and trying to have any kind of enjoyable battle is near impossible with all the debris and fire falling from above.
Let the Sky(Scrappers) Fall
It’s not all doom and gloom, SkyScrappers has some redeeming features at least, although they are insufficient to really make this title worth while. The girders as they crash to the ground adds even more madness to proceedings and the way the weight shifts depending on where you are positioned is a nice little touch. However, praising the physics of inanimate objects shows just how difficult it was to find anything particularly endearing in this very basic package.
The art style, reminiscent of that used by the early street fighter games is fairly pleasant, testament to the hand drawn style employed, but unfortunately, due to the nature of this title, you never really have enough time to appreciate its intricacies which is a shame as it feels like a lot of care and attention went into its creation .
At the same time, as the game progresses the levels quickly begin to resemble one another and this does diminish considerably from the experience and essentially eradicate any replay value. In similar fashion, the soundtrack to SkyScrappers also becomes repetitive very swiftly and despite its throwback nature, fails to really capture the drama and suspense that this title would deserve, had it met the lofty expectations of creators.
SkyScrapers is clearly intended for multiplayer purposes and because of this, it’s a crying shame that there isn’t an online multiplayer option. Rounds on the couch with a friend or on a break with a co worker are actually rather enjoyable, but again, only for a brief while. Jumping into an online match up with a group of strangers might have been quite fun and added an extra layer of depth.
The vertical mode is something of a novel idea and perfectly well implemented, adding a different dimension to the way in which SkyScrappers plays, yet another example of the versatility of the Nintendo Switch. If anything, this is the kind of game that the quite excellent Flipgrip was made for. Leaning it up against a 2 litre bottle of water with Joy Cons detached also worked admirably.
Whilst the intentions of SkyScrappers were amicable the finished product doesn’t do enough to keep the player engaged for any sufficient length of time. For the price, and the incredible amount of choice on the eshop, it does feels as though your hard earned cash could be better spent elsewhere.
Verdict – Not enough substance