A Namco rarity is joining the Arcade Archives this week, as Hamster reaches deep into its big bag of obscurities and pulls out Japan-only shmup sequel Sky Kid Deluxe, now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Released to the arcade market in 1986, Sky Kid Deluxe is was debuted on Namco’s all-new System 86 hardware. Like its predecessor, the simplistic shmup features dogfighting action between a battalion of biplanes. The player is armed with a machine gun for sky-to-sky action, and bombs to take out battleships and other enemies lurking on land. Curiously for the genre, the horizon scrolls from left-to-right, rather than right-to-left, which is unique, but feels extremely weird given the (literal) direction the genre would take. The Deluxe edition also features alternate colors, weather effects, and new enemies.
You can check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Were1974.
Unfortunately for Sky Kid Deluxe, it launched at a time of a genre renaissance, with the arrival of a plethora of great, groundbreaking shmups such as R-Type, Gradius, 1942, Parodius, and many others. As such, Sky Kid Deluxe looked, (and played), pretty much archaic in comparison and would only perform modestly in Japan. Namco would choose not to port the sequel overseas, and it would not receive an official release in the west until its inclusion in the Namco Museum Virtual Arcade release in 2008.
Sky Kid Deluxe is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8. The original Sky Kid is also available as part of the Arcade Archives range.