While the 3DS has launched with a fairly large library it is strange to see that very few of these games are new IP’s with the vast majority either being ports or re-imaginings of popular titles.

One of these re-imaginings is Pilotwings which I have to admit I had never played before but which has been around for quite some time.

So does Pilotwings deserve to become a 3DS series in it’s own right or is this just a 3D toy to show off with?

When you first start up Pilotwings you are met by a kind lady who asks you to sign in, at this point you need to select your Mii, a bunch of other information that wasn’t overly exciting and then to physically sign your name. +1 into the gimmick column.

After which we are offered some basic flight training or we can get straight into the action. I recommend taking up the flight training because while the airplane’s controls are pretty obvious the jetpack and hang glider can take some getting used to.

After the training you can enter the story mode where you are put through a series of challenges. It starts with you needing to take off in the airplane, fly straight and then land in the designated landing area and then progresses pretty quickly from there.

Each level has a set number of challenges and in each challenge you need to try and score 3 stars. After you have accumulated enough stars then the next level is opened up and the challenges get harder. The nice part about this is that if you can’t get the stupid jetpack to do anything then you can still progress by acing the airplane and hang glider levels.

At the time of writing I am on the Silver (third) level where I have just raced through the mountains chasing a car with my airplane while trying to shoot the balloons hanging out the back of the car. This is surprisingly difficult to get all 3 stars on and is a level I can see myself coming back to quite often before I clear it.

Other levels that I have experienced has been trying to get my hang glider to smash through icons at certain speeds (impossible), jet packing around the town to find all the check points (hard but I managed), flying around a set track and collecting as many extra points as I could (nailed it) and a variety of others.

Basically Pilotwings boils down to a series of mini games that get substantially harder and will take a fair amount of time to complete and then a serious amount of time to perfect.

Pilotwings is a perfect title for playing a quick game while changing classes or waiting for a meeting or even in the car on the way to the shops (not while you are driving).

It’s not ground breaking in any way other than the 3DS effects which suit the title perfectly. I have tried it with and without the effect and while the 3DS effect is great the game is also a lot of fun without it.

Oh and going back to the gimmick of signing in that I spoke about right in the beginning, I have to admit the more I play the more I find seeing my signature against my save game that much more comforting. I’m not sure why that is but it’s true.

[Reviewed on the 3DS]

Scoring

Gameplay: 8.0/10

The gameplay is simple but the challenges are varied and for a game that is entirely made up of mini-game challenges you really can’t ask for more.

Design and Presentation: 6.0/10

This is your typical Nintendo family graphics, there is very little to look at and while some people may love the minimalist graphics I would have preferred something with a bit more oomph.

Value: 8.0/10

You’re not going to complete this anytime soon and this could very well become your go to game of choice for the 3DS for when you just have 10-20 minutes of game time available.

Overall: 7.0/10

Pilotwings is a simple title but that doesn’t diminish from it’s entertainment factor. If you’re looking for a flight simulator then this isn’t what you want but if you want a game that you can always pop in and play and that’s easy enough for anyone to get to grips with then Pilotwings is the title you want. It’s also a great demo title for the 3DS.

Last Updated: April 6, 2011

Pilotwings
Summary
7.0

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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