Nintendo has announced that it will be bringing its lost arcade curio Sky Skipper to Switch in July, as part of its Arcade Archives retro collection.
Sky Skipper released in 1981 and was a follow-up to Nintendo’s hugely successful Donkey Kong arcade game. It saw players piloting a bi-plane across four levels in a bid to rescue various members of a royal family from mischievous gorillas. Unfortunately, Sky Skipper’s reception was lukewarm at best, and Nintendo dropped the game in 1982. It’s believed to have repurposed all Sky Skipper arcade boards, converting them to play its now-classic Popeye game – and poor old Sky Skipper never even made it to the west.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 14, 2018
Although ROMs of the machine, and even a Atari 2600 version, did eventually see a release, the only known existing Sky Skipper cabinet today sits squirrelled away in the bowels of Nintendo of America. It got an airing in 2016 as part of the Sky Skipper Project – in which Nintendo permitted several arcade enthusiasts and preservationists to scan and document the cabinet so that they could build their own and keep its legacy alive.
You can admire the cabinet’s striking design in the photos uploaded to reveal the Sky Skipper Project’s final recreation. Fun fact for you – the machine’s wonderful illustrations were, Nintendo revealed as part of its Switch announcement, drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
Sky Skipper will launch on the Switch eShop in July – and in anticipation of its release, its predecessor, the original arcade classic Donkey Kong, is now available to download in the US, although seemingly not in the UK at the time of writing. This, says the company, will be the first-ever release of the complete arcade version outside of arcades.