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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Review #023: SkyScrappers (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Reviewed By: Allan

Developed By: Ground Shatter

Published By: Ant Workshop

Category: Arcade, Fighting, Action

Release Date: 10.29.2018

Download SkyScrappers from the Nintendo eShop here.

Race Ya!

There are certain genres that just hold up over the years without much need for any changes. Street brawlers, for instance, the likes of Final Fight or Streets of Rage, don’t really require much along the lines of formulaic tweaking…if it ain’t broke…but occasionally with a tried-and-true genre, even though it wasn’t broken, someone comes along and fixes it anyway. SkyScrappers takes the classic old-school fighter game and fuses it with a vertical action-platformer and a racing game to create a unique-yet-familiar – and fun! – retro-style experience. This game is fun in single-player, but even better with a friend or three!

In SkyScrappers, you play one of four adrenaline junkies who meet up in different cities around the world to race to the top of skyscrapers while they are actively being demolished. You use girders and other falling debris to jump and climb up as the buildings collapse around you, but, because that in and of itself just isn’t thrilling enough, you also compete with your other thill-seeking acquaintances in an all-out brawl as you race to be the first to the top… or the last to be K.O.’d.

Fight or Flight

The controls are simple and straightforward. A is jump, B is attack, and if you mash several buttons at one with a full “special” bar, you do a special move that damages everyone on the screen. For the most part, the controls are very responsive and smooth, but once you find yourself at the bottom of the screen, it is difficult to get yourself back into the action without relying on the reset feature, which launches you back on screen in exchange for a bit of your health bar. This feature adds another dynamic to the gameplay, as you can choose to stay together and fight each other, or you can choose to climb toward the top of the building as fast as possible, leaving everyone else at the bottom of the screen, which triggers the reset and quickly drains everyone else’s health. This can result in a swift victory in most cases, if you can manage to get to the top of the screen through all of the chaos.

The action in SkyScrappers is fast-paced and generally very smooth. You jump on falling objects that move as you run up or down them, changing the angle at which you can jump. The steeper the angle, the higher you jump off of the top. You can also double-jump to get that extra little boost you need to make it to the next platform. Sometimes, however, it almost felt like the characters did not know where they were on the stage. What I mean by this is that, when jumping up to a girder or platform, sometimes it seemed like you landed spot-on on the top of it, but instead of landing on the object, you just fall through. This usually was just a minor inconvenience, but at times, it would really mess up any chances you had of getting up past the bottom of the screen and not dying.

Haven't I Heard That Before?

SkyScrappers is designed to look like an old-school arcade brawler, and it does a decent job with that. The graphics are smooth, bright, and colorful, and definitely take me back to the old days of my childhood. There is even a vertical mode where you can flip the screen length-wise and play it in true arcade fashion either in the undocked mode, or, if you’re so inclined, by turning your TV at a 90-degree angle and playing it in docked mode.

The music is not horrible, but it is fairly cut and paste. It is up-tempo and keeps the action going well enough, but sounds like the same generic, recycled music that has been in so many other games. It sounds like if you took the Dynasty Warriors’ soundtracks and edited out all of the dynamic parts of the songs, leaving only the basic progressions with generic leads on top. The good news is, you will be so busy trying to find your character on the screen amidst all the rubble and chaos – especially if you are playing 4-player mode and everyone chose the same character! – that you probably won’t be paying much attention to the music anyway!

See You at the Top!

SkyScrappers exceeded my expectations. It is a fun game in single-player mode, and is even more fun in multiplayer. There are a few issues with the mechanics, but overall, it didn’t take much away from the experience. This is a short, sweet little game with only 7 stages, so it isn’t going to take up your entire day trying to get through story mode, but once you get your friends involved, that might change. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and if you are into brawlers, beat ‘em ups, action-platformers or the like, this will be a fantastic addition to your Switch library, and a lot of fun at parties. I would recommend picking it up!

Final Score: 8/10

Download SkyScrappers from the Nintendo eShop here.

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