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Game Review #171: Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: FrankieW

Developer: Blindflug Studios

Publisher: Blindflug Studios

Category: Twin Stick Shooter, Roguelike

Release Date: 01.31.2019

Price (at time of review): $17.99



Buy Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings from the Nintendo eShop here.


Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings puts you in the pilot's seat of a world that exists in the sky! The world now lives in ships in the sky, and the main method of work is sky fishing for fish that have evolved to swim through the sky. Enter our hero Amelia (oh… I see what they did there!), a mechanic and skyfisher who wants to reach the edge of the world and see all it has to offer, but skyfishing is just not as safe as it once was. Now, sky pirates (sky planes, sky fish, sky rocks, sky islands… I sense a trend!) have taken to the air to attempt to disturb the skyfishing industry, and earn fortune themselves from other people's hard work! Thankfully, as stated Amelia is a mechanic, and you will use her deep knowledge combined with your ace flying skills to earn money, crafting materials, and more so you can upgrade your plane and weapons so you can reach as far as you can in this world, and find the largest and most valuable skyfish in the world! Let's delve into the world of Airheart a little more!



Take to the Skies

Airheart’s main area is the floating city of Granaria, where you will sell goods, buy equipment, outfit your plane, and craft items! You just select where you want to go, and you will be there, no running around necessary. The game is very visually pretty without having to resort to hyper-realistic graphics or anything of the sort, and instead features a well-designed, interesting world and a simple, aesthetically pleasing art style that is easy on the eyes. The music and sound design didn’t wow me or anything, but it was not distracting or bad at all, just nothing to really write home about. The guns all sound as they should, and as you work your way higher into the stratosphere the music builds in intensity from the relatively chill beat you get exposed to on the lower levels.


Controls-wise, it's your standard twin stick shooter fare as you move with the left stick, aim with the right and then you can fire your primary weapon or secondary weapon with the triggers. It works! It's not breaking any new ground, but it fulfills the needs of the game.



How to Play

Your game structure works out like this: you set up your equipment and depart on a run and make your way to the first layer of the stratosphere. You will fly about, finding some items, catching skyfish by flying over them (or with the faster ones, try hitting it with a harpoon to slow them down!), and fighting off some pirates. You will find a ship with an aura, and when you fly over it, you can fly up to the next level which holds harder enemies and more valuable items. You will continue to fight and raise up until you either get shot down, or you make the decision to return to town. Remember, we have flown up MILES from our home base, and the game doesn’t forget that.


You have to navigate your way down while dodging the various floating islands you passed on your way up without hitting them. Whether your ship is on fire, careening down towards your home base, or you have a smooth flight down, you have to try and make sure you connect with your home base to make sure you can bring home the largest amount of resources possible. Obviously, if you are shot down, or miss the home base you will take a hit to the amount of things you are bringing home successfully. Once you are back, you will take your crafting items to try and figure out new recipes in order to craft stronger items, equipment or weapons.



Crafting

The crafting system will essentially have you just trying random things together to find the correct combinations that yield real items. And most of the items are just MORE crafting items, which really can get a little overwhelming. I honestly found myself just saving up money to buy items in the shop rather than continually mess around in the crafting menu, it feels a little directionless with you mostly just trying random things as you try to figure out the combinations. The game offers Amelia's “Ideas,” which is basically just an indicator of if the right item is in the right slot, but there are A LOT of combinations you could do, so it doesn’t seem to help a ton. From there, you equip your ship and fly out again! That's where the roguelike elements come in, as each layer is also randomly generated.


Let's Fly!

Airheart is a fun little adventure with good gameplay, and a frustrating crafting system that doesn’t really detract from the game too much, since nearly everything you'd want to make can also be purchased! If you like some twin stick shooter action, you can’t go wrong with Airheart!


Score: 8/10


Buy Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings from the Nintendo eShop here.


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