AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Parker Brothers

Sky Skipper
What's this? A classic Nintendo game featuring a gorilla that's not Donkey Kong?

That's right. This is a home translation of a little-known Nintendo coin-op game that Parker Brothers basically got the home rights to as a result of its original deal to get the license to the smash-hit Popeye. In Sky Skipper, The player is a pilot of a plane chosen to fly a most unusual mission: save all those caged animals from the nasty gorilla captors. Of course, it's not easily accomplished, what with low-flying cloud cover, a flight path filled with obstacles and a limited amount of fuel.

The fire button is used to drop so-called bombs on the gorillas. Points are scored by rescuing animals, at 100 points each. In order to do this, players must direct the plane's fire at the gorillas knocking them out temporarily and releasing the animals from their cages at the same time. Then, the plane swoops down and picks up the escapees. Picking up the animals in a particular order will result in a complete fill-up.

In order to knock a gorilla off its feet and open the cages for the animals, the player must fly the plane directly over a gorilla and press the firing button. The animals will immediately jump out of their cages and wait to be rescued. The gorilla is soon up again, however, at which point the animals pop back into the cages from which they've been sprung. If you rescue all the animals in one game, you will begin again with another set of animals at a more difficult level.

In typical Nintendo fashion (and translated nicely to the 2600 by Parker Brothers), graphics are awfully cute. Like with Donkey Kong and Popeye, it should have some appeal for the young player and for adults who are openly disdainful of the louder, more furious and frenzied videogames. There is no real violence here, unless you count the gorilla abuse. All the other aspects of game success depend upon the ability of the player to accurately control the flight of the plane and to coordinate movements.

Graphics are unspectacular, but brightly colored. Sound effects are not noteworthy. The gameplay is simple and uncomplicated, but should be amusing and somewhat entertaining for youngsters. For the veteran player, however, there probably isn't enough challenge to keep them occupied for long. Sky Skipper is a decent port of a so-so coin-op, so if you liked the original, (I've never SEEN the coin-op) you'll probably get some enjoyment out of the 2600 version.

Title Sky Skipper
Publisher Parker Brothers
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 7
Sound 5
Gameplay 5
Overall 6
Reviewer Keita Iida

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