Yu Suzuki has a strong reputation for his game direction, so when Air Twister was announced I was instantly curious about how it would come out. It initially came out for mobile phones in 2022. I don’t play many games on my iPhone, so I was willing to wait until it got released on consoles, which has finally come. But how does Air Twist on consoles and PCs compare to its initial iPhone and Apple Arcade debut?
Game Name: Air Twister Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series S|X (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Publisher(s): ININ Games Developer(s): YS NET games Release Date: November 6th, 2023 Price: $29.99
Air Twister starts with a very nice melody draped over a small cinematic of our protagonist, Princess Arch, spending time with some creatures before she gets up and starts flying, and the very next scene is when gameplay starts. The goal is to save the earth by defeating a bunch of different types of enemies in an on-rail shooter type of game. At the end of every numbered level, you will join with a friendly animal to help defeat a giant boss. Each level racks up in difficulty, requiring more precision and skill to keep up with the new rounds of enemies and bosses.
Right out of the gate, Air Twister has some of the best music released this year. Considering the range of games released in 2023, that is quite a bold claim. As you enter a normal area, I tend to just vibe to the music at times, which caused me to lose health more quickly than I should have if I was just playing the game normally. Honestly, I don’t blame myself; this music sends such an earworm into my head, and I will be listening to it for years to come. I am so happy that this game includes an in-game location to just listen to the music.
Air Twister has an addictive gameplay loop of flying, locking on, and shooting. It doesn’t do anything crazy, but it is fun to play and adds a lot of things to unlock in the game. It also has missions you can accomplish to get more unlockable outfits and weapons. This gives an old feeling of playing the game to unlock more things that the game has to offer. You unlock extra stages, missions, and modes by playing the normal story mode. The better you do, the more currency you get to obtain more unlockables in the game. If you’re thinking of this being a simple game on rails, it’s much more and retains that magic of Sega’s earlier games, such as Space Harrier and Panzer Dragoon.
It is not a very long game, and the price reflects that. It has a lot of replay value due to the scores and difficulty modifiers, as well as all the various game modes. Air Twister has a very stylistic approach to its character models and creatures. Even though it doesn’t have as detailed models as bigger-budget games, the game still looks polished.
The maps get pretty repetitive in Air Twister. When you lose your last continue in the game, it sends you back to the main menu that houses your extra features. Unfortunately, when you want to go back to the story mode, it constantly makes you go to the first stage and do the entire mode linearly again. It is more of a start-up, do your upgrades, do a run-of-the-story mode to get more stars, and then turn it off once you finish the game or die. Then you turn it off. Trying to play this for too long gets super repetitive and sometimes frustrating if you are doing higher and higher difficulties on Arcade modes or harder challenges.
You can tell that this game was mainly developed with mobile games in mind. There is so much to unlock and so many additions to what you need to unlock and challenges you need to accomplish that it makes it seem like a bit of a doozy to complete. Luckily, the story isn’t affected too much with the unlockable content, but due to the small size of the story mode, it makes the extra modes the big reason to return to play the game once you have completed the story.
Air Twister is a game worth the purchase. I would say it is worth buying the game for the music alone. It does get repetitive and can be frustrating at times, but overall, it is a pretty solid time. The big thing I would recommend is not to just blaze through the game in one go, or you might feel just done with the game after the fourth story mode playthrough in a row. Honestly a perfect mobile or Nintendo Switch experience where you don’t want to get very immersed in a story, but you want to have a fun time playing the game with a killer soundtrack.
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Air Twister is a fun arcade-feeling game directed by Yu Suzuki that has a great soundtrack and a decent gameplay loop. Though, it can get very repetitive if you are trying to play for long spurts of time.