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Apple Arcade’s Air Twister is a descendant of ’80s Sega arcade games, for better and for worse

Apple Arcade’s Air Twister is a descendant of ’80s Sega arcade games, for better and for worse

  • Apple
  • July 8, 2022
  • No Comment
  • 46
  • 16 minutes read


Princess Arch flying near circus balloons in Air Twister.Source: Ys Net

Air Twister has intrigued me since I came across its trailer last month. Developed by YS Net, a studio led by legendary designer Yu Suzuki of Sega fame, the game is a mix of all sorts of aesthetics that I find annoying. Pieces of puree fairy tales in outer space? A blonde-haired princess shoots a laser with a crossbow while riding a huge swan? A Queen-inspired soundtrack? User interface that includes a generic font that reminds me of Runescape? These pieces should not work together; everything feels so tied in motion.

So when Air Twister finally premiered on June 24, I had to play it. And I’m here to say: this game tears. However, I don’t think it’s great for its weirdness. It’s great for its simple arcade-inspired gameplay.

While Yu Suzuki is best known to his fans as the man behind Shenmue, Air Twister sees him return to his roots with a game similar to his previous shoot ’em up on-rails, Space Harrier, along with the third-person flight combat title. After the burner. Air Twister could be a spiritual sequel to the first, as several enemies of Space Harrier appear here and the shooting looks similar. However, where Space Harrier and Air Twister differ is in the speed and, eh, how you can ride large animals. The Air Twister has a much slower pace than the Space Harrier, allowing for a quieter experience.

Giant goose princess Arch rides on Air Twister.

Source: Ys Net

The game shares a locking system that Panzer Dragoon fans should know about. Players control Princess Arch, a crossbow-warrior warrior who needs to save her planet from destruction (or something similar) and must move away and touch enemies to shoot them. Enemies such as stripes, giant dragonflies, and UFOs appear on the screen in formations, and you can automatically target them by swiping through their alignments. Once you release your finger at once, the lasers point at these bad ones. If you do the right time and destroy all the enemies before they move off the screen, you will be rewarded with a star that you can use to get cosmetic, weapon and health improvements. You will also need to drag your finger across the screen to control Princess Arch and avoid the incoming bullets.

Princess Arch fighting watch and candle light heads.

Source: Ys Net

Air Twister has 12 levels, each ending in a battle of bosses. So far, the weirdest head I’ve come across is a stack of watches and a couple of chandeliers. You shoot small clocks.

Sure, there’s a rhythm to the game you’ll find when you play, which can give you an experience similar to Rez’s, but if you’re not a fan of slide formations, you can just play and shoot. Keep in mind – this isn’t bullet hell, and you won’t be too happy trying to replicate Galaga’s experience here, as it doesn’t reward so much precision shooting as time. If you’re interested, the game offers a lot of history and you can read all about the background story of your huge animal friends and those weird floating mushrooms in a dense compendium of the game world.

A fairy tale setting in Air Twister, depicting massive, colorful flowers.

Source: Ys Net

I had a great time playing this game with my Backbone and touching the screen when I need a faster reaction. I also love how crisp the game looks on my iPhone 12, which runs at 60 FPS. If you don’t like mobile games, you can also play them on an Apple TV, a Mac, and an iPad.

I won’t lie and say this game is a must have game for Apple Arcade fans and iOS aliens. It’s definitely a title built into an arcade archetype that offers nothing new. While you don’t have any in-app purchases, the game has many closed items that you unlock by collecting daily and weekly rewards. You will spend a lot of time repeating levels, looking for stars and dying for the sake of offering you new items to help you run to the end of the game. I could be a minority here, but I’m not a fan of the soundtrack of Dutch composer Valensia’s game, which sounds like the result of an algorithm that devours all of Queen’s discography.

Still, seeing something so whimsical in Apple Arcade is fantastic. The trailer does no justice in showing how much fun it can be to ride on flying elephants while dodging oval laser projectiles and shooting geometric shapes. Air Twister already feels like a sleeping hit from Apple Arcade, home with Sega’s arcade release during the 80s, but too weird to exist as a new game for home consoles. This is a victory in my book.

Air Twister

Fight through 12 fantastic scenarios while Princess Arch in this one shoots on rails of the legendary creator of the game Yu Suzuki. Developed by YS Net, Air Twister is an Apple Arcade exclusive.

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