I used to love playing Shmup and Block Breaker games in my youth. I couldn’t wait for the final siren at school to go off at 5pm, so I could rush home and start my new daily gaming session. I used to play either 1942 or Arkanoid, as they were my favourite games back then. If you’ve come across some of my reviews, you’ll be aware by now that I still play a lot of these type of games, especially Shmup (even though my reflexes and finger agility are not as sharp as they used to be - it’s a blast aging, let me tell you!). In terms of sport, I was heavily involved in football. Between these late daily activities, I was very busy, and for some strange reason my homework was rarely completed. Well, those days are gone, but to my absolutely delight, I’ve had the great pleasure of playing a Shmup Breaker with a twist of retro tennis that sent me down memory lane. Thanks, Sky Racket!
Sky Racket is a Shmup Breaker developed and published by Double Dash Studios and was released on Steam on the 23rd of October 2019.
What a little beauty of game this is! As you start your first game, you’ll be given the choice of either playing Racketboy or Racketgirl. Both characters have the same ability, which is rolling fast into the air to avoid bullets, and they both have smashing forehand and backhand shots.
The game consists of several planets which have 2 levels and a boss fight. Each level has 5 challenges to complete and you must defeat the boss of the planet to unlock the next world. If you haven’t been able to successfully accomplish all tasks in the level, you can easily restart the level and try again if you wish.
The gameplay is pretty simple; challenging, but so much fun. Your character will be flying in the air with his/her laser racket from left to right. Blocks, as well as cute and funny animals will appear either from the top, bottom or right side of your screen. Most of the animals, with the exception of these funny brown cats, will usually be sitting behind a wall of funny and colourful boxes. The animals will start shooting red circular projectiles, which you can hit hard with your racket towards the blocks and cute flying creatures. As soon as you destroy the blocks or kill your enemies, one or more stars will appear where your foes have fallen, and they will make their way towards the left side of your screen. Roll into the air and collect these stars to increase your combo. In some levels, you may have stacks of circular bullets coming at you at once, and if you can keep hitting them, you’ll fly through the level, for sure. Also, each time one of these balls hits an enemy, it will bounce in the opposite direction twice as fast as your initial hit. If you manage to hit the same ball(s) back again and again, they will become bigger, and therefore touch more blocks or animals on their way through. At some stage, they will explode. It will become tricky when you see elongated and crossed bullets come into play, as you can’t hit them, but they can hit you.
Racketboy or girl has three hearts of health, and each time they are hit by a projectile, half of a heart will decrease. That means six hits and you must restart the level. Mind you, you’ll occasionally see a heart flying through the air, so make sure to get to it in order to regenerate your health by one heart.
You’ll also see buddies with a text above them saying, “Help”. Get to them as soon as you can; they’re really helpful, these little buddies. Be aware that each time you need your buddies to help, it will take a while for them to regenerate their special abilities. You can also lose your buddy straight after being hit.
I like that fact that you can play Sky Racket either solo, or co-op with a friend.
Fun, colourful graphics suit the game very well, as does the soundtrack. There are plenty of options to choose from and the game has been translated into 6 languages so far. You can play Sky Racket with your gamepad or keyboard. It can be a bit frustrating at times, as you might miss a few balls, especially against the Tennis boss. Apart from that, the game is very solid.
Positives+ Fun and colourful visuals
+ Fun and challenging gameplay
+ Fabulous concept, well-executed
Negatives- Can be frustrating at times
- No trading cards as yet
Sky Racket is fun, challenging, addictive . . . a truly fabulous concept! It’s a Shmup Breaker and it’s just magic!
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Zeepond Rating: 9/10
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