Sky Noon is something else. Imagine an alternate western-themed world where all water has vanished, so the people take to the sky to farm moisture from the clouds. Two rival factions fight over the floating landmass/dirigibles, but instead of bullets in your six-shooter, you’ll use a variety of air-powered weapons to try and knock the opposing team off the islands and into oblivion. That’s Sky Noon, and it’s basically a western-themed FPS version of Super Smash Bros. where you customize your own character. And yes, it’s just as fun as it sounds.
At its heart, Sky Noon is a team-based competitive shooter, but it also has FFA modes (Death Match), Domination modes, and a riotous “push the minecart” mode where the teams shoot a minecart full of dynamite on a railroad to the opposing team’s base to blow it up. Unlike say, Overwatch, you don’t just stand near the cart to make it move, you use your weapons and consumable items to propel it on the tracks, and you must shoot the turning mechanisms on the tracks to keep working it towards the enemy base.
There’s a whole suite of character customizations planned, from hats to shirts, pants, boots, facial hair, etc, so you can make your own personal cowboy or cowgirl. New looks will be added constantly, and earnable in-game. The demo I played had a very limited selection, but the base was there. There’ll be leaderboards, stat tracking, and other forms of progression over time, too.
The real bread and butter of this gem though is just how accessible and fun it is, no matter your skill level. I’m not great at shooters, especially competitive ones. I also get frustrated when I suck so bar. But Sky Noon doesn’t have player health. You can get shot a million times by a small air repeater, and as long as you’re able to use your grappling hook or accessory to get back on solid ground, you live to fight another day.
Littered across the maps are powerups too – a bull charge, air grenades, jet boots, a teleporter – all of which can make your life easier or the enemy’s harder. You can even use a grenade to blow yourself out of harm’s way if you’re clever. The grappling hooks are the most fun, jumping off a ledge, and swinging yourself around to avoid danger feels incredibly satisfying. Add to this the half dozen or so different guns in the game so far, from air shotguns that send people flying in a single close-ranged burst, to long distance pistols that don’t push people far, but can fire a distance and quickly to drive someone slowly to their doom, there’s just a lot of fun to be had each and every 5-10 minute round.
The game has a beta coming really soon, so be sure to head to the skynoongame.com/beta site to sign up.