Air Twister is a new game on PC and consoles which I hadn’t heard of beforehand, but I later learned was released on mobile phones some time back in 2022, which does explain why quitting out at the end of the gaming session gives you the option to ‘exit app’.
Written by Shenmue maestro Yu Suzuki, if you’re familiar with the ’80s arcade classic Space Harrier… it’s a lot like that, even basically copying some baddies very late on in the game.
There are two ways to play the main game, one being to just simply start, and the other being to select an individual difficulty in Arcade Mode. On first attempts, the first way, I got up to level 6 (of 12), even with two Continues once you lose all your three lives (or was it four? In all the excitement, I’ve lost count); and on Easy, up to level 8, but there are no continues, which is a shame.
Quite why, if you select a specific difficulty you don’t get any continues, whereas if you just start the game in the usual way, the game plays the same, but you DO get continues, is a dichotomy I cannot explain.
Trying twice more, I did get up to the Stage 11 boss, before losing my last continue; and that second time losing ALL three continues on that baddie. Plus, continues start the level from SCRATCH, rather than picking up just a moment later, which is MEGA irritating when you’re a stone’s throw from beating a boss, and he drains the last bit of life from you.
It’s also frustrating when you die, because halfway through, it tells you it’s going to get much harder, and it certainly does; The enemies just steamroll through you.
Even early on, it’s annoying when they shoot back at you, with various coloured shots, which spin round and I’ve no idea where they’re going, so I’m bound to get smacked to hell!
If I could save between levels, fine, but there are arcade shooters which make you think “Just one more go“, but to get so far and get wiped out (after almost 40 minutes of gameplay), it’s driven me up the wall, and not in a good way.
I loved Space Harrier back in the day, but up to a point where it starts getting way too hard, and then I think: Fine, that’s enough for me; and for this game, £20 for Air Twister is too much, so while it’s worth a play, I’d wait for a sale, and the Christmas/January sales aren’t far away.
As an aside, I wondered why another player on Youtube started his game with more hearts and life points (segments of a life, since you seem to be able to hit about 15 things before another life is gone) than I had. Well, the more you play, the more ‘stars’ you collect, and then comes the sort-of RPG part where you can get upgrades that apparently fend off various baddies and bosses better, but… that just seems to ultimately give you more of these hearts and life points. There’s no instructions relating to that, so you have to figure it out as you go.
You can also doll up your character, prior to going into battle, but is it worth it when you’ll basically be spending the entire time looking at her backside?
One major plus, though, is the music, which feels like an ’80s blend of Freiheit (if you remember Keeping the Dream Alive – and if not, listen to it now), Sparks and Queen, and comes courtesy of a Dutch composer called Valensia.
Check out the gameplay below, where you can see my attempts at the game, preceeded by the gorgeous menu music.
Thanks to our friends at ININ Games for the review code for this game.
Air Twister is out now on PC/Steam, plus the respective onlin stores for PS4, PS5, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, as well as the 2022 release on Android and iOS.
- Developer: Ys Net
- Publisher: ININ Games
- Players: single-player
- CPU: AMD RYZEN 9 7950X3D
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E CARBON WIFI AMD X670 S AM5 DDR5 PCIe 5.0 4x M.2 2.5GbE AMD EXPO™ ATX
- RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DDR5 Vengeance RGB PC5-44800 (5600Mhz)
- Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 7900 XTX NITRO+ 24GB GDDR6 Ray-Tracing RDNA3 6144 Streams
- 1st Storage Drive: 2TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2 (2280) PCIe 4.0 (x4) NVMe SSD TLC V-NAND 7450MB/s Read 6900MB/s
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.