[Beyond PlayStation] Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces Review
Will Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces be able to take off and fight the good fight on the Nintendo Switch? Find out in our review!
Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces, developed by 7Levels, is an air combat game where the player takes control of some of history’s greatest planes, including the infamous Red Baron. You will take to the skies to tackle different combat scenarios with a wide range of planes at your disposal to command. Does this mobile port go the extra mile to butter up this Nintendo Switch release?
While this game doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to air combat, that isn’t a bad thing. Controls are pretty simple. The left analog stick controls movement, and the right one controls your acceleration. The ZL button is used to aim at enemy planes and ships, firing with the ZR button. The A button allows you to switch between guns and bombs, which are needed to take out ground support, such as anti-air units. Each mission will come with its share of objectives, which usually boils down to destroying all the enemy units.
Dogfighting is one of those visceral gaming experiences that I’ve always been drawn to. The act of shooting down enemies feels really good but will quickly wear out its welcome with how shallow the gameplay scenarios can be. With the number of overcomplicating aspects of the game, like acquiring new planes or currency management, the core gameplay loop is fun to just jump back into, even though it will certainly become repetitive. You have the option to bring multiple units into combat with you, which all have their own unique characteristics – things such as how some planes carry bombs and others don’t. The friendly AI that is controlling allies when you aren’t piloting them is useless. I found myself having to take control of every plane, jumping back and forth between them to ensure that I could complete objectives.
I am a fan of when a studio can take a game originally designed for a mobile device and bring it to the Nintendo Switch in style. This is not one such experience. The menu design and gameplay overlays are all not designed to properly fit on the Nintendo Switch’s screen or on your TV screen when in Docked Mode. I was happy to find the option to hide the UI in the settings, but that only disables everything in the game to allow for screenshots to be taken. The visuals also look very flat, which is a shame since we all know that Nintendo’s console can certainly do more than what is presented here.
Nothing makes this game feel like a mobile game more than the main menu, which is a big concern. There are too many types of currencies to manage, as you’ve got things like gold for buying planes and upgrades and fuel to make sure your planes are usable in combat. Having to balance all of these just feels like it’s designed with microtransactions in mind and slows down the experience considerably. For a game with a $10 price tag, more could have been done here to reimagine these mechanics for a fully paid release rather than the free-to-play triggers that still exist in some form in the Nintendo Switch version of Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces.
For those looking for a cheap way to get into an arcade-style air combat game, Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces can be a good time in short bursts. The more time you spend with the game, the easier it will be to spot the flaws in the AI, the user interface, and the underwhelming graphics. Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces is available now on the Nintendo eShop for $9.99.
This Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by 7Levels.