Sky Shark (NES)

Sky Shark Box Art

Sky Shark

System: NES

Release Date: September 1989

Developer: Software Creations

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Take to the skies back in WW2 as you seek to destroy the Axis Powers in Sky Shark! This game is a 1942 clone and it doesn’t do anything special. The scrolling is vertical and constant. Your plane shoots as you press the A Button. You can drop an area clearing bomb with the B Button.

Enemies fly or roll on screen and do not deviate from their programmed path. What can catch you off guard are the projectiles that are shot your way. They’re the same blinking colors as your own bullets, which can be confusing. There also is a bit of screen tearing when there are too many sprites in one line, which is enough to mess you up. The hit box seems a bit out of whack, killing me when it seemed I was out of the path of the bullets.

There are squadrons of red planes that drop a power up if you destroy them all. The power ups didn’t give an appreciative increase in strength in my experience, they just added extra bullets. I would have liked to see some spread or back shots or something added. Yellow squadrons give you a small point bonus if you kill them all.

After the first level, some large planes will come up from behind, which takes away the safety of the bottom of the screen. By the end, my idea of a safe movement pattern was moving side to side in order to avoid bullets the best I could When you make it to the end of the level, you get your bonus score and it’s off to the next. There are five levels, each with a strong enemy at the end.

Graphics: 1.0

The graphics are mostly bare bones. I didn’t care for them much.

Sound: 1.5

I kind of liked the music, the intro theme is fire, but the incessant pew-pew-pew drove me nuts.

Gameplay: 1.0

Sky Shark lacks a lot of everything. It’s pretty deficient.

Difficulty: 2.0

It’s a very difficult game, but I think some of it is poor programming and graphics thanks to the flickering enemy bullets.

Fun Factor: 0.5

I didn’t have fun and expecting me to keep looping through is not a reward.

Overall Grade: 1.2

Sky Shark earns a D+. 1943 improved on the 1942 formula, Sky Shark did not. Pass on this one.

Sky Shark Video Review on YouTube