Skyriders Review

By , on October 23, 2012

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4 out of 5


  • Dead simple concept made challenging through clever level design.
  • Abilities unlock as you get better; synergizes and rewards good players with better results.


  • Basic presentation; the simplicity works in its favor, though the small screen means you can't always reasonably react in time.


Skyriders strips back the gameplay of a racer like F-Zero and manages to create an addictive time-trial title out of it.

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Skyriders by Inverse Blue treads a fine line. Skill-based time-trial racers are notorious for their sharp difficulty curves, and this space-themed title provides no less of a challenge, however clever level design and simple, yet insanely fun gameplay keeps you coming back for more punishment.

First appearances may make you think of games like F-Zero and you'd be on the right path, however instead of racing AI opponents you're attempting to beat your own time and score. In order to do this you'll need to jump, flip (double-tap jump) and collect stars to fill your boost meter.

That's a bit of a simplification though as with each stage you conquer the land slowly starts to twist and turn more and more, adding pits, ramps, platforms, and even rings to jump through. This is further complicated by boost pads and stars that help you to accelerate to your maximum speed, though only one type of star can be active at a time - red or yellow. While your meter is empty, both will be collectable, but after the first one you collect the rest will become gray and act as obstacles to avoid. To 'activate' them you'll need to perform a mid-air flip, forcing players to think creatively about when to switch them as they're bouncing between platforms.

After earning a certain amount of points over each stage you'll earn 'upgrade points' to further specialize your vehicle and clear stages even faster. It's a great feedback loop, especially as you unlock new areas and bonus stages that weave together all the previous stages in to one mega-track for huge point boosts.

Whether you're after a game to prove your skills or something with a bit more depth than the usual arcade release, Skyriders is a perfectly executed time-trial racer that's hard to put down.


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