Review: Strikey Sisters (Switch)

A more adventurous take on the block breaking genre.

By Andy Hoover. Posted 03/07/2019 06:45 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Well executed genre mix; great retro visuals and soundtrack; enjoyable gameplay
Poison Mushroom for...
A few imbalances in gameplay; some annoying writing and voice acting

Sometimes, one can’t help but wonder what the world was like before someone decided to combine peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter and chocolate. Now we are fully aware of these magnificent mixes, but there was a time when we were tragically ignorant. DYA Games’ Strikey Sisters might have struck upon another brilliant combination of two great concepts: the block breaking gameplay of the likes of Breakout and Arkanoid, and action-adventure games of the 16-bit generation.

The first of hint of the game’s hybrid nature is the fact it has a story, albeit a rather simple one. Players assume the role of one of two sisters, or both if you are playing co-op, who are traveling around a monster-filled world as they chase down the villain who stole their beloved pet. The writing is far from serious and generally casts the monsters as sympathetic compared to the arrogant, often bumbling nature of the sisters, but it generally remains entertaining even if some of the jokes don’t always land. This set up also gives an excuse to implement an SNES style map that divides the world into a number of themed areas and helps sell the sense of adventure and progression. It also gives you some freedom to tackle sets of stages in whatever order you like.

Once you select your level, you get to experience the real ingenuity at play. Instead of merely controlling a paddle traversing the bottom of the screen, you control one of the sisters, instead. Of course, you’ll need to break the stage’s bricks in order to proceed, but instead of merely trying to bounce your ball back into play, you can swing a sword to increase its velocity and better control its direction. You can even charge your attack to give the ball more oomph! And there are more than bricks to worry about as monsters also roam the stages and continue to respawn until all the bricks are broken. There are actually a very wide variety of foes with unique attacks and characteristics, such as only being vulnerable from behind or turning invisible. Being hit by their attacks or failing to return the ball into play will result in losing a hit point, so you need to keep track of both your ball and the baddies if you want to win. Also, defeating baddies releases a variety of power ups and spells that make your task much easier, faster, and more fun.

Every few stages you’ll be forced into a boss battle which often serve as some of the game’s best and worst moments. Bosses feature large health bars that you’ll need to chip away at with your ball, spells picked up from enemies, and attacks reflected back with your charged up attack. Like the standard enemies, each boss features a unique look and attacks so they never feel repetitive or uninteresting. However, a few of the foes seem to be relatively poorly balanced thanks to certain attacks that are either far too difficult to avoid or can’t be canceled out with a well-timed hit of the ball or your sword. While most bosses avoid these issues, the ones that do are major annoyances and will probably warrant turning the difficulty down for many, even if just temporarily.

The other issues that might affect your fun is just the random nature of the game. Whether it be one of the aforementioned bosses or an instance where the timing or placement of an enemy attack makes hitting the ball without taking damage entirely impossible, sometimes the game can just feel unlucky and unfair. Generally these sorts of issues are primarily reserved to certain stages or enemy types, but it still shows at least a minor oversight in design and attention to detail.


Strikey Sisters is a visual feast for fans of 16-bit aesthetics. While this particular style has been quite popular among indie developers recently, this particular game just feels more accurate than many others. Whether it’s the pixel perfect sprites or the retro anime-style art of the overall design, the game just oozes the charm of early 90s Japanese action-adventure games. The music also achieves this effect brilliantly, even if the voice acting betrays its more modern origins. In fact, I think it might be better to turn off the voice acting because, while it’s never truly bad, there are some occasionally annoying deliveries of certain lines and jokes.

Strikey Sisters really feels like a game that should have been released 25 years ago, both in its unique blend of classic genres and its almost era perfect presentation. It really makes you wonder how it took people this long to make a brick breaking game like this. While this combination is plenty of fun, there are still a few gameplay mechanics that could use a little more polish and balancing to perfect the recipe. Still, it will likely deliver a lot of enjoyment for just about anybody who enjoys clever gameplay or well executed retro design ideas.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!