Thanks to the folks at All in Games over the past few days I’ve been spending some time in the air with Red Wings: Aces of the Sky on Nintendo Switch. This is a title I’ve got quite into over my time with it, and even though the joycon motion control doesn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped, overall it is a nice little slice of arcade action. Find the review video just below, or keep reading for the extended written review
You’ll play through progressively harder levels in your time with Red Wings, progressing through the story of the infamous Red Baron. You’ll find some enjoyable slices of history throughout, with a little artistic license of course, charting the rise and fall of the ace pilot. As a bit of a history buff and lover of all Great War avionics, I was pleased to find some historical craft in the title. As well as including 10 warplanes, there are a fair number of different liveries to collect and show off
Of course there is a huge injection of arcade stylised action in the title, which is presented in comic style. This is however combined with the letters of genuine pilots, tugging on the heartstrings and providing a real link to the past. In a time where the stakes were never higher, this level by level progression and end of action marking has led me to replay each level a few times, trying to obtain the best scores to unlock further historically inspired livery options.
The title does have motion based joycon controls, intended to be used as a flight stick while your left hand controls speed and abilities. It’s a feature which really drew me to the title, however with the more arcade based control system, as well as a lack of true control stick feeling, it’s not a mode I’ve played too much time with. While it was the initial draw for me, I’ve had a solidly good time playing with the standard controller, rather than using the motion based abilities
Parent’s Eye View
Red Wings: Aces of the Sky is rated by PEGI at 7, and by the ESRB as Everybody 10+. There is some violence in the title of course, including both plane to plane action as well as surprisingly a little pilot to pilot pistol action as one of your heavy hitting powers. Overall there’s not been a huge deal to worry about in the title. The pistol finishing moves aren’t shrouded in gore, and pretty plane explosions aren’t (for me) much of a concern. Overall this is one I’d be happy to play with the Micro-Bandits on, with the added bonus that they might learn a little history while they’re at it.
The Run Down
Visuals – Great: There’s nothing I can really fault the visuals on here, and overall they suit the arcade action of the title really well. Plane models are well made, and whether playing on the TV using the dock or on the handheld device, the cell shady visuals have really shone. Bold, bright and crisp, with some great cartoon effects.
Audio – Great: Really in keeping with the era, the music fits the title well. Good voice acting through the story sections, and nice sound effects which have been well implemented.
Narrative – Good: The level based gameplay does detract from a narrative here, and in honesty if you ignore it completely you’ll still have a lot of fun. That said, the historical references and quotes from real pilots of the great war mean that not only is there a nice little narrative here, there are also some history lessons for the little ones.
Replay – Great: There are a huge number of missions available, running over two distinct campaigns. Added to the fact that the title includes local multiplayer, as well as the skins and different aircraft to collect, replay value here is high.
Overall the Pixel Bandits Manfred von Richthofen level for Red Wings: Aces of the Sky is Grab It. this is a relatively low priced title, and comes with a whole load of replay value to keep you locked in for some time. There are a few different style of play to go through, from bombers and fiighters, to simply keeping your craft fueled using the very realistic floating fuel refreshers. While the joycon control wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be, the arcade action, local multiplayer and nods to history throughout have kept me thoroughly enjoying this one.