Miami-Based Videogame Company SkyJoy Interactive's Super Kid Cannon Out Today

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Videogames are not necessarily the first thing that come to mind when one thinks of Miami, but SkyJoy Interactive is looking to change that. Cultist had the opportunity to see company's office, play its first game, and learn more about the firm at the forefront of the Miami videogame scene.

SkyJoy, listed among Miami's first videogame companies, is located on the tenth floor of a Brickell building sprinkled with the dust of nearby construction. CEO Abdulhady "Abboudi" Taher sees the construction as a metaphor for Miami's burgeoning tech possibilities.

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"We think Miami is a great place. It has a lot of potential," he says. "There's no reason why it can't be a videogame center. I mean, Austin is a videogame center, and there's nothing there! Even Boston! It's nice, but it's not Miami. And San Francisco, it's nice, but the cost of living is astronomical. You can live much better for half the price [in Miami]."

Producer Amanda Drewniak says there's a ton of talent here. Local colleges and universities offer tech programs, so why not give students the opportunity to showcase their talents without having to move elsewhere?

Most of SkyJoy's 11-person team is locally grown and made up of people frustrated with the sentiment that plagues a lot of creative industries in Miami: Those who know better head up North or to the West Coast to find fortune.

SkyJoy's first attempt to build a gaming industry in the 305 comes in the form of mobile game Super Kid Cannon, a vertical launcher they describe as the first of its kind. You play as Kid Cannon, a red panda tasked with rescuing his girlfriend from the clutches of Kahn, a snow leopard (which in real life is the red panda's natural enemy).You can pay to subvert the classic damsel-in-distress trope by buying the ability to play as Justine, the girlfriend, for 99 cents. In addition, the team explicitly wants to show that Justine is not by any means weak.

"We want Justine to represent a new type of female protagonist in videogames," Taher states in a recent news release. "She's strong, feminine, cute, and a loyal companion, but she's not a wimp. Her strength and spirit were key points we're keeping in mind during development."

In an effort to save your feisty panda princess, you tap to shoot your way vertically through increasingly challenging and lengthy levels via cannons, bubbles, ships, and other forms of transportation. When you reach the top, you are greeted with the image of Khan holding your panda paramour hostage. No worries if you don't make it on the first shot. Cannons act as checkpoints, and you respawn at the last cannon -- provided you have enough hearts left to do it. As the devs pointed to harder levels, we found ourselves challenged, but in a good way. We left more determined than frustrated.

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SKC is a super fun game. I my favorite world was the last five levels, being in space!

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