Developer: Double Dash Studios
Publisher: Double Dash Studios
Genre: Shoot’Em Up, Action
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 22/10/2019
A code was provided for review purposes.
Sky Racket is a game which combines two classic arcade genres: “Shoot’em Up” and “Brick Breakers”. The world has been taken over by the evil “Korgg” and it’s up to RacketBoy and RacketGirl to defeat enemies and save the world! It’s always good to play a mix of genres but did the combination leave me with a smile on my face or was it all just a loud and annoying racket?
It’s Not Racket Science
The core gameplay of Sky Racket was unlike anything I have played before. You play as Racketboy or Racketgirl who are suitably armed with a tennis racket. Projectiles from enemies will come towards you and if they’re green, you can hit them back at the enemy causing damage. On the other hand, if the projectile is pink then you should avoid them at all costs as these will cause damage even if you try to hit them. The enemies are protected by large blocks similar to the ones in Atari’s Breakout.
These blocks must be destroyed to cause damage to the foe.
I really enjoyed this mechanic, always being ready to dodge, spin, or hit back the incoming projectiles. There are a few different enemies which each have unique attack patterns and styles of projectiles. Some bullets are “heavier” which make them slower moving than others.
It’s also worth mentioning that the game supports two players. I played Sky Racket alone but with a tap of the button a second player can join. Every level has a “P2 to enter” prompt which flashes for the first thirty seconds. Albeit a minor issue, I did find this annoying and I would have appreciated a “prompt disabler” in the menus. It’s only a small gripe I have and in no way a deal (brick)breaker.
All in all, the base gameplay is very inventive and works very well.
Pixel Perfect with Superb Sound
When I first took a look at the Steam page, I immediately noticed the vibrant pixel art. There are so many colours present which I thought would be a distraction and nuisance when playing. When I played the game, I experienced the exact opposite of what I originally thought. The pixel art is incredible. The colours work well alongside the wacky enemy designs. Without too many spoilers, burrito cats and weapon-equipped penguins are both enemies that you’ll become accustomed to seeing throughout.
The menus themselves also consist of pixel art with the “course entry” screen reminding me very much of classic Sonic games.
The music and sound design here is also very good with a cosmic-sounding soundtrack and classic arcade sound effects. I’m once again reminded of Sonic when it comes to sound effects with the star collection sounding very familiar to the collection of rings. I’d happily listen to the soundtrack by itself.
A Genuine Challenge
The cheery aesthetic may lead you to believe that this is an easy game so it was a surprise when I encountered a genuine challenge. There were many moments throughout the 13 levels where I ran out of health and had to restart. With both damaging and hittable projectiles hurtling towards me I was constantly alert. Sky Racket hits the sweet spot in terms of difficulty, providing a constant challenge but never seeming impossible. In each level, there are different “orbs” to collect. Upon a level’s standard completion, an orb is automatically rewarded. Further orbs can be earned when other challenges such as “kill x number of enemies” are completed.
Gaining these extra orbs is a real challenge. At the end of my playthrough, I had earned seventeen of these orbs and there was an additional level that required fifty-three orbs to unlock. It took me just over two and a half hours to get through the thirteen levels and I only had seventeen orbs. If you’re planning on completing the game until the very end, expect a real challenge and a lot of time.
Additionally, there is an Arcade mode that poses the challenge of completing the full game without death.
So overall there’s a good level of difficulty with even more options if you’re up to a real challenge. Although I won’t be returning to 100% the game, I can definitely see a pair of players having a lot of fun completing the bonus challenges together.
Sky Racket is a real hidden gem. The combination of genres is seamless, the art style is great to look at and the soundtrack is incredible! If you’re looking for a real indie gem that unashamedly tries something new, then Sky Racket is a perfect choice.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Sky Racket here: