Red Wings: Aces of the Sky
Developer: All In Games
Publisher: All In Games
Genre: Arcade, Simulation, Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 21/05/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Be the Baron or Vive La Resistance
The aerial exploits of the Red Baron are no secret. Military allegiances aside, his accomplishments behind the controls of his Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker are to be marveled at. Now, you can take to the skies and become the Baron, dodge, and weave your way through the allied planes and dogfight your way to brutal glory.
Alternatively, you could take control of an allied aircraft and be the one who ends the legend before it has the chance to grow. Either way, Red Wings: Aces of the Sky has the look of a game that combines history with colorful graphics and arcade-based action.
So how was my experience in the war-torn skies? Keep reading to find out.
Bright Visuals with a Cartoon Gloss
When you think of the first world war, you don’t think of bright colors and vibrance, yet that is what Aces of the Skies bring to the table. The graphics are good and have a realism to them yet a cartoon finish that removes almost all actual association with warfare and makes it nothing more than a fun airborne shooter.
This was where the repetition began to start for me. With each side of the war offering 25 individual missions, there was a lot of room the play with, yet the game grew repetitive very fast and after a while, it becomes a chore. The visuals, while nice are not enough to carry the expectations and the wants of the player in the absence of anything more substantial.
The game’s audio was primarily focused around heavy Parisian tones. While it was jaunty enough, after a while it all became a little monotonous. Sadly, this is a running theme throughout the game.
The voice acting was nice, telling the story of the war from both sides. I also enjoyed the cartoonish cut scenes. Yet again, it was not ever enough to actually pull me into the story. The gameplay never taking me more than surface-level deep.
You Have the Control
The control system in the game is a very simplistic one. The left analog stick is direction, right analog stick dictates speed, and you have a couple of different options for attacks. A mounted gun, a pistol, for a strange and awkward ‘kills shot’, and a call for squadron support.
There was nothing complicated about the game, and as you go through the early ‘tutorial’ missions you are taught a barrel role and a sort of insta-turn. The only irritation I have with the way the game controls is that the response times for both the squadron support and certainly the kill shot were irritatingly delayed and after a while I just sort of stopped using them.
For the rest, the game was fun, but the missions were too isolated from one another. Yes, there was an underlying narrative but further, than that, they were essentially minigames. Nothing was carried over from fight to fight. No damage to your plane or anything to join things together. To be honest, I don’t really know how it could have been done, but nonetheless the game was missing something to make it feel like a game as opposed to a series of individual encounters.
Don’t get me wrong, there were upgrades to be earned. New planes, and new skins for them to unlock as you progressed through the levels. Yet this still leaves me with a hollow and detached feeling when thinking about the game as a whole.
Collect Stars Slowly to Boost Your Play
Each level has a time component to it where, if you complete the game within a set time bracket, you are rewarded with up to 3 XP stars. These stars can be used to buy upgrades that enhance your ‘character’. This is anything from increased fuel capacity to accelerated cooldown speed on all maneuvers.
There are lots of different options for you to choose from, but the slog of obtaining stars is a drag. The first level upgrade alone costs three stars, the second six, and so forth. This makes upgrades uninspiring and to be honest, I completely forgot about them towards the end of my playthrough.
A Single Flight is Probably Enough
I’ll be blunt and say I didn’t enjoy the game and have no interest in revisiting it at any point in time. Putting personal preferences to one side, I still don’t see this as a game people will go back to. I don’t even see it as a game many people will complete on both sides.
It’s a nice title for a bit of fun, and I can see a group of people enjoying it more. Invite some mates round, a few beers, and passing the pro-controller around the group than in a single-player slog. The split-screen option is fun, but still not enough the save this from being a game of animated mediocrity.
Not Angry, Just Disappointed
I expected more from this game. I liked the art style, and I thought the voice work was perfectly fine. It just felt too much like minigames for my liking. Ok, you unlocked one level after another, but they could just as easily have given you free rein.
There’s not necessarily anything wrong with the game, and I’m sure some will really get a kick out of it. Sadly, it just wasn’t for me.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can grab your copy of Red Wings: Aces of the Skies from the eShop today.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.