Some developers like to keep it safe when it comes to creating a game that everyone will like. We’ve seen far too many point ‘n click side-scrollers and have seen way too many classic adventure games. Hammer Labs has decided to change the pace of indie games through the old Star Fox mechanic with Super Sky Arena. When you think of multiplayer dogfights, most people instantly think of the Star Fox franchise. Considering that, the developers capitalized on everything that made the Star Fox’s multiplayer great and created a game that revolves solely around that. Since the game allows for up to four players each match, you have the option to fight against others or against AI bots to practice for future encounters. With this game being announced so close to the release of Star Fox Zero, it’s safe to say that Nintendo fans have a cushion to fall on if their beloved game doesn’t turn out as expected.
The game surrounds itself with an original soundtrack that sounds like good ol’ fashioned 80’s and 90’s rock; it can be purchased alongside the game for an extra five dollars. This, alongside the vibrant colors and fast-paced nature of the game, gives it the aesthetic of multiplayer that everyone would want to relax with. The game has also included a number of power-ups that can be used to better destroy your friends/enemies with. Some of these power-ups include barriers to defend with, (or keep others out of your general area), and beams to rip right through your enemies. The art style for the game is very simple, with cell-shaded environments and ships that offers a whole lot more to the replayability and multiplayer aspect. Who would want to look at a game that makes their eyes physically exhausted from how much is on the screen?
To make things even better, Super Sky Arena has full controller support so that you don’t have to be staring at your screen can challenge your friends with ease. You have the option to play with your keyboard as well, but the button configuration on a controller really makes you feel as though you are playing inspiration that this game pays homage to. There’s never a moment that isn’t filled with fast paced action and nostalgia. With an overly simplified concept, online/local multiplayer, and controller support, it’s hard not to appreciate that Hammer Labs is successfully developing a modernized classic game.
The game is currently available on Steam via early access. According to the developers, while it may be in early access, what is currently available is similar to the final product, with only a few extra things that need to be added including more weapons, maps and characters to choose from. With that, there is no official release date for the game other than a general release of Summer 2016 for PC and consoles. The game will also stay at its price point of $14.99 for the game itself and $19.99 including the soundtrack after release with only a small possibility of change depending on user feedback.