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Pilotwings

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Released: 1992

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Submitted by: clive johnson

Pilotwings, at first glance this game looks like a simple flight sim. Well don't be fooled by appearances. This game has a variety of challenges and skills to learn, from parachute jumps to jet packs. This game is both testing and fun were the difficulty curve is just right to get even the most novice of player involved.

You begin this game with some very simple challenges with the aim of achieving your wings and pass grade to move on to the next set of stages. Each set of challenges becomes progressively more difficult but the scores you have to achieve are set so that you don’t have to reach perfection to move on (although getting that perfect score can be most satisfying). The final stage sees you flying into enemy realms in a helicopter. Avoiding enemy fire and landing your helicopter feels great, but just when you think you've done it, you find that you have unlocked the expert stages. These expert levels vastly improve the repeatability and longevity of the game, as they are the same length and breadth of the original levels.

Level design is excellent and the 3D visuals draw you in (even at their 16bit quality). In fact the whole game is beautifully created. Your in-game mentor feels like they have their own individual personality. How well you do on the different levels sees your mentor's facial expressions change giving everything a more realistic feel.

The controls are easy to use, but difficult to master, which means that your approach to the game can vary without overly affecting your progression. The selection of challenges and the additional chance of playing hidden bonus levels mean that the game is full of variety.

I would recommend this game to anyone and hope that if you have never played it before that this inspires you to do so. Happy Playing Retrobates.