Developer: Bit Planet Games
Publisher: Bit Planet Games
Release Date: 28/03/2019
Price: £14.99 // $19.99
Eshop Page: Ultrawings Eshop Page
Over the years we’ve had some wonderful flight sim games release on different platforms and with the release of Ultrawings on Nintendo Switch is it more up, up and away or does it fail to take off, read on to find out more in our latest review.
Ultrawings come from Bit Planet games and it has been released on other platforms including PS VR which you’ll definitely notice from the camera system and the viewpoint during the game is something you’d imagine being employed in a VR game. Now the wonderful Nintendo franchise Pilotwings has sat dormant for some time now and when I heard about Ultrawings on Switch I was interested to see if it could fill a void left by Pilotwings absence.
The game will see you take control of different aircraft that you’ll use at different points of the game, you start with one and gradually unlock the rest as you go, the Aircraft that can be unlocked are the Ultralight, Glidestar, Blade 360 and Gee Racer.
Now each one of the aircraft has a different feel and the attention to detail of how the control and handling of each aircraft is really well employed here.
The basic gameplay model is simple, first things first you’ll take your pilots license by completing a series of standard and basic tutorial scenarios. Then you will spend your time playing different activities. Just as an example of the type of activity or maybe mini-game is a better choice of wording that you’ll be doing are balloon pop, ring course, landing challenges, and photo challenges. My only gripe here is that they do become repetitive and samey.
You’ll need to play through the different mini-games to earn money so you can afford to purchase new crafts to pilot and different airports which will open up the world around you. At the end of each activity, you’ll be graded as Bronze, Silver or Gold and if you haven’t managed to get the highest award of gold the game will certainly encourage you to try and I can be easily persuaded if I was so close, I am sure many of you reading this are of a similar nature.
As I mentioned earlier this game was released for VR and you’ll definitely find the camera is designed for VR. The menu design is built for VR and this can all feel a little like if the developer had employed a bit of a redesign then that may have been a good idea for consoles that don’t support VR goggles.
The flying experience is definitely good and controls really well, even if the camera system can be off-putting sometimes. You will definitely notice the more you play and the different aircraft you use how different each can be and the differences in how they handle.
You can pretty much use any aircraft on any of the activities you play through. The ultralight you’ll quickly notice is your all-rounder in that it’s not too quick, not too slow and seems to be a good aircraft with which to start off. It makes good use of the gyro control system too and can be good in photo or balloon mode.
This game whilst good and can be a nice relaxing game to play isn’t a replacement for games such as Pilotwings. Whilst this game is charming and the visuals aren’t bad, the fun element and the different types of Aircraft or activity are what made Pilotwings unmissable. I remember the days of taking turns with mates or even my mum on Pilotwings and trying to parachute down and get the best score or hang gliding to get the best score and it had a charm all of its own.
I enjoyed my time with Ultrawings I just couldn’t help but feeling like I wanted/needed more from it. The repetitious nature of the activities on offer really started to become tiresome. I would have liked to have seen a few more options and activities on offer. I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t adopt a Pilotwings style of play to open up the gameplay more. I feel like with a few more options and some different activities this game really could have been solid. The visuals whilst not earth shattering suit the gameplay enough that you don’t really need more.
Check out the Ultrawings Trailer below:
The Review Key for Ultrawings was supplied by Bit Planet Games for the purposes of this review.