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Skyhammer - The Atari Times


Now here's a game that really soars!
by Andy Robertson

June 2, 1996
Skyhammer is set in a dark and gloomy Blade Runner style world full of very tall buildings, flashing advertisements, and evil corporations. As a Skyhammer pilot, it is your job to throw your craft through the hostile streets in search of lost items, hostages or specific unfriendly craft that need to be dealt with. There are three cities that need cleaning up so jump into your craft and do the housework.

The more you kill, the more money you get to spend on weapons and engine upgrades. Go from a tiny 'well it gets you there' engine to super-deluxe one that lets you reverse and power-slide around corners. You can also equip your Skyhammer craft with a wide range of weaponry which include machine guns, bombs, homing and smart missiles, all linked to the enemy through an intelligent targeting system that identifies friend or foe.

A big plus for this game is that there aren't any pre-defined courses to take, fly across rooftops, race vertically up walls or even upside-down. Each route is sufficiently packed with gun emplacements, tanks and enemy aircraft that seem to fly at the oddest angles. Use your handy on-board scanner to navigate your way safely into the more dangerous areas of the city.

The biggest problem with Skyhammer is, although when you hit a building it does you no damage, it's impossible to scrape a building without stopping dead which kind of ruins the full-flowing action. Of course, it just shows people how bad a pilot you are. One other point that can annoy is that sometimes an enemy plane starts shooting at you from a totally ridiculous angle and it takes quite a time to locate it and shoot it down and all the while your shields are being slowly depleted. Of course, all you do is accelerate away down the street, pull off a 180 degree loop, fly towards the plane upside-down, let off a few missiles, go right through the resulting explosion, turn yourself right-side-up and power slide around the next corner to take out the incoming tanks.

The 3D graphics in Skyhammer create a perfect replica of the gloomy Blade Runner environment. Everything looks a bit samey but that doesn't detract one little bit from a very tense gaming atmosphere that has you hanging on by the skin of your teeth for most of the game. Just when you think you are safe and stop for a rest, a five plane strike force appear from over the distant skyline to encourage you to move.

In recent months it seemed like any Jaguar game could be finished in a few minutes with your eyes closed and hands tied behind your back. Supercross 3D and Fever Pitch were hardly challenging. In fact there was nothing that required any skill at all. Forget all that with Skyhammer . If you aren't 100% when you're playing this, then you're going to get lost and killed real quick in the heat of the battle as you have to keep an eye on where you are heading as well as what you are heading into.

This is one of the best Jaguar games to date and is highly recommended. Great Stuff.

Get ready for some righteous Jaguar gaming!
You'll never know who's on your side until you tar
I'm flying over a building!
Take that you invisible enemy.
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Songbird
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 96%
Sound & Music Score: 80%
Gameplay Score: 88%
Control Score: %

Final Score: 93%

Reader Comments for Skyhammer

Where I got it by Andy Robertson on 1996-06-02 12:00:00
I began my inquiry at the store that I got it from. Seemingly it was originally a review cart for a magazine that has since closed and the cart has been discarded more-or-less and basically nobody wanted it. The shop didn't mention how they got hold of it but needless to say they never wanted the cart either. The Jaguar wasn't seen as "fashionable" to them and they couldn't afford to continue stocking Jag games. So, they offloaded SkyHammer to me after I bought two Playstation games. I assume that it is a beta-version because it's very prone to crashing and doesn't have the title screen you can see above
SkyHammer by Randy Femrite on 2018-03-08 16:27:22
Excellent review and right on the money, definitely one of if not the best games for Jaguar.
However, I'm not sure about the in search of hostages thing.
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