SkyScrappers is bringing its unique brand of demolition and platform-battling to the Nintendo Switch and is hoping to rub shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the other great multiplayer games on the system. It’s a local competitive game that has your fighters trying to climb to the top of a crumbling skyscraper, all the while trying to stop your opponents from beating you to death or knocking you down.
You choose from a few different fighters who represent different countries; think Street Fighter 2 and you have a rough idea. Each of them is fairly tropey and kind of annoying to be honest. They don’t exactly ooze charisma, but it does make it easier to knock bits of brick at each other, and the graphics do a decent job of approximating the Neo-Geo era while you’re leaping about.
Your have two buttons to worry about outside of left and right; you can jump, and you can attack. While the jump button has a very obvious use, it also has slightly more nuance than you would think. The larger pieces can be jumped on to change their angle, doing so allows for a significantly higher jump, the sharper the angle the higher the leap. The debris falling from the oh-so-tall-buildings comes in different shapes and sizes, there are plenty of big ol’ girders, but they are also mixed with much smaller bits of brick and mortar.
These bits can be used as an extra lift off point as you climb. When you add in the occasional bits of fire you end up with an awful lot going on on screen at any one time. While this is fine when docked; playing undocked can feel far too busy and it becomes hard to work out what is going on, even with the increased screen real estate from playing in the vertical Tate mode.
The attacks come in the form of little slashes that either deal direct damage or can be used to turn the smaller parts into projectiles that can be snooker-balled into people from a distance. The ranged attacks add a lot more depth to an otherwise very simple system, but don’t feel as precise as you’d like given how frenetic the gameplay is. Alongside that is a ground slam attack that sends shockwaves that travel both ways across the platform you’ve performed it on.
Along with the two inputs comes a special bar which fills up as you jump up or throw down and allows you access to two variations on your normal inputs. The special jump has you leaping around double the normal height and is useful if you’re falling behind. The special attack deals a lot more damage than usual but suffers from the same lack of precision as the other combat tricks.
While there is a bit more depth than first appears in SkyScrappers it doesn’t often rely on any of this. It is fairly easy to accidentally die because you didn’t see a falling rock or fall behind because the platforms are just slightly out of reach. The game itself can be a fair bit of fun with friends, but the single-player is little more than an hour long tutorial and sadly there isn’t anything else to do.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch – also available for PS4