- Developer: Double Dash Studios
- Publisher: Double Dash Studios
- Price: $14.99 / £11.39
- Release Date: 17/3/2020
- Review code provided by Double Dash Studios
Introducing: Sky Racket Switch Review
As many of us who watched the Nintendo Mini-Direct a few weeks ago know, there were a few games I was interested in learning more about. For me, it was Panzer Dragoon, Good Job!, and this, Sky Racket. I was lucky enough to be able to give this exciting game a try and I can tell you right now that it’s pretty great!
Sky Racket is the story of two kids, aptly named RacketBoy and RacketGirl, who are summoned by the Capybara Goddess and asked to save the galaxy from the evil bad-dude named Korg. The method of fighting that you (and a hopeful player two) have is a tennis racket. Thankfully, it seems that the enemy has focused their entire offense on Tennis-based attacks! How fortunate!
Nearly every enemy on the screen can be smacked around with by rallying back their attacks with your racket. If you’re starting to think that this is something like a brick-breaker or a Pong situation, you’re not too far off. The fine folks at Double Dash Studios have referred to this game as a “Shmup Breaker” and boy howdy were they right. Often times, the screen will fill up with projectiles and explosions to make you feel like you’re playing an arcade shooter. It’s some good fun!
Something wonderful happens when you start up your copy of Sky Racket: a screen asking you to set up a second player. Sure, this game is perfectly playable solo, but it’s certainly not how it was designed to be played. This is kind of the way things go with shmup games. Single player is doable, but every extra person on the job makes it easier. See, the thing that separates this game from normal shoot-’em-ups is that in here, most of the projectiles bounce back. Unfortunately, your character doesn’t really move terribly fast on their own so it makes it hard to keep a volley of certain projectiles going. But throw a second player in there, and it works a whole lot better.
A lot of how this game works is through keeping a combo going and making sure that active, reflected projectiles stay on stage for as long as possible. This is tricky if it’s just you flying solo, but with a partner it becomes significantly more manageable. Given, this also comes with added necessity for communication and an eye for action, but the point remains the same: play this with a friend to get the most out of it. I’m not saying that single player is impossible, but you can definitely tell that the developers didn’t design this game to be a one man show.
EVERYTHING IS EXPLODING
This game gets frantic fast, as most shmup games do. Before you know it, the entire screen is full of exploding blocks, tanukis falling from the sky and more tennis ball shaped projectiles than you can shake a racket at. Thankfully, this isn’t your standard bullet hell where you die in a single hit. You are blessed with a few hearts that make sure you can take a hit and keep on trucking. Now, if you and a buddy are playing in this chaotic tennis-based maelstrom and one of you should chance to take too much damage your cohort can press the plus button and borrow a heart from the surviving player! I would suggest using this with discretion. Healing isn’t common in this world.
Something I also like was the addition of little helpers along the way. In every world, you come across a little friend that you can recruit to help you defeat the foes ahead of you. Some fire projectiles you can smack your opponents with, some fire lasers, some do other even crazier things. The catch to these recruitable buddies is that while they do tremendous things in the battles you fight, they also leave if you get hit once. So, it’s a beast of a challenge to get those little guys to a place where you need them most.
There are plenty of tough battles ahead of you in the many worlds on Sky Racket. Bosses are huge and will smack you around if you’re not paying attention. The variation of each boss, however, is pretty marvelous. I won’t spoil any of the crazy ones, but I wanna say that you’ll love it. I spent about five to ten tries per boss to figure out patterns and the like, but it’s nothing that perseverance and hard work can’t conquer.
Jamming in the Sky
Now that I’ve covered how this game plays, I can tell you that it most certainly sounds great. The soundtrack is a groovy collection of excellent jams that will keep you swatting away the baddies as long as you want to. Every new world has as new theme and some rockin’ new tunes as well. I’m not sure there’s anything to dislike about the soundtrack and sound design. It’s a pretty great experience.
The game plays smoothly no matter how you play it, although I would certainly recommend playing it in docked mode so you can better see what insanity is flying toward you in the heat of battle. It doesn’t make the game run any smoother, and I really enjoyed my time playing handheld mode, but this was meant to be played on as big a screen as you can.
Also, can we talk about the art in this game? The backgrounds are pretty incredible and the stage design is beautiful. Sure, it starts as something relatively basic, but as the stages keep coming, you will see some really impressive artwork as your character zooms past things in the back and foreground. I loved it. And, it kept my eyes constantly engaged. Excellent work.
And That’s the Game!
Sky Racket is great. I enjoyed the time I spent by myself and even more of the time that I spent with a friend to try out the solid multiplayer (we died a lot). I do very much recommend this game to anybody that likes brick breaker games and casual difficulty shoot ’em up games. It’s not too crazy, but it’ll put you through your paces to complete all of its challenges. This game is a good time!
- Great soundtrack
- Beautiful art nearly everywhere you look
- Fabulous multiplayer
- Bosses can feel a bit unfair
Sky Racket is a great game with a solid challenge and a beautiful art style. Grab a friend and get smacking enemy attacks right back at ’em!