Sky Kid


Review by Keith Erickson



Graphics: 4

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Sometimes, the best games are the ones that are a little obscure, there’s something special about finding a great game that was never in the spotlight. Sky Kid’s probably never been on anyone’s top 10 list, but popularity aside, it’s a great game that deserves some recognition.

I discovered Sky Kid at a pizza place in the late 80's, and instantly fell in love.  The game combines simple controls, adventurous music, cute graphics and fun game play into something that can be enjoyed over and over.  After playing the arcade game a good deal, I discovered there was a NES version, which I also enjoyed quite a bit.  Years later, after forgetting about the game for a while, I've re-discovered Sky Kid, and it's still as fun as ever.

In Sky Kid, you play as a flying ace who must pilot his bi-plane into enemy territory, avoid enemy fire, collect the payload, and bomb the enemy’s base.  One neat thing about Sky Kid is that when you’re hit, you lose control of your plane and plummet downwards, but can pull out of the dive if you mash your buttons hard enough.  This really adds to the excitement of the game, as it makes you fight to stay alive.

When comparing Sky Kid on the NES to it's arcade counterpart, you'll notice, that a few things are missing; The image of the enemy base or submarine you're supposed to bomb does not appear at the beginning of the round, the "mash buttons" animation doesn't show when you're crashing, and the words "Halfway point", "Pick up bomb", and "Nice landing" don't show up on screen.  Along with these subtractions, there is also the subtle change of the dancing girls.  When you shoot them in the arcade, they turn into pinkish pulsating blobs (which is both weird and cool), but on the NES they turn into cats (less weird, but still cool).  Along with the subtractions and changes are the additions of a Target Practice bonus round, and your girlfriends (wearing blue dresses), who toss up hearts if you perform a loop-de-loop for them, and give you a kiss (worth bonus points) at the end of the round for every heart you catch.

The additions don't add much to the game, the changes are negligible, and the things that were left out weren't very important in the first place. Despite these differences, all of the important things remain intact:  The slightly awkward (but fun) 2-player mode, the adventurous little tune that plays throughout the game, and most importantly the game play, which is perfectly reproduced on the NES keeping intact all the fun and whimsy of the arcade original.

Basically, Sky Kid is a fun little arcade title that was ported fairly well to the NES.  There are a few omissions, and a couple small changes, but in the game play department, everything remains intact, and that's what's important.


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Last updated: Sunday, January 11, 2004 09:29 AM