I played Air Twister, a throwback to the 80s arcade game, on the iPad mini
Having a sip of Diet Coke on a Saturday afternoon, I randomly picked up the iPad mini and started looking for games on Apple Arcade and found Air Twister. From the start, it felt like an arcade-style shooter and that was enough to pique my interest. At the time, I didn’t know that Yu Suzuki was behind the Air Twister, an old-school rail shooter. Air Twister is a throwback vehicle for third-person rail shooters, at least on mobile platforms. For someone who plays video games without any expectations. Here is my Air Twister review on Apple Arcade mobile game subscription service.
Who is Yu Suzuki?
Yu Suzuki had a huge impact on the video game industry. Throughout his illustrious career, Suzuki has developed several games, which have gone on to achieve cult classic status. In 1983, he joined Sega as the video game industry was going through its worst phase and was beginning to develop arcade games. Wait was one of the first arcade games he designed for Sega using 16-bit graphics. Whereas space harrier was a third-person shooter in a fantasy world, Virtual Race was his first attempt at the world of 3D polygons.
And came Shen Mue, the first major title he developed for a home console. At the time of its release, Shenmue was one of the most expensive games ever made. The game’s visuals, story, environment, and game elements were way ahead of anything people had played at that time. Yu Suzuki will always be remembered for bringing 3D racing, 3D combat, open-world gameplay, and full-body motion controls to video games. These days, Suzuki runs an independent development company called YS-Net, which is behind the exclusive Apple Arcade Air Twister.
Air Twister: plot and scenario
At its core, Air Twister is a rail shooter. To me, Air Twister feels like it’s going back to the roots with a game that has the elements of Space Harrier, Suzuki’s previous attempt at creating the rail-shooter genre and third-person fighting title After Burn. The game features Princess Arch, whose home planet is under threat and she must save it from destruction. You play as this princess who flies through fantastical environments and destroys stingrays, giant dragonflies and UFOs. While I love the stylized treatment given to the game; it definitely feels closer to a AAA title with rich visuals, something to admire on my iPad mini 6. The music of Dutch musician Valencia is surely another highlight of the game. It’s a mix of rock styles , opera and classical music that are in tune with the fantasy shooter.
Where the acting falters is the weak narrative and script. I don’t know the history of Princess Arch; who is she and why is she still on that giant goose. What’s supposed to drive the narrative falls flat and ends up being an emotionless cardboard character. Maybe I was asking too much of Suzuki and his team, but I guess the industry needs to improve the game with writing and character building, especially when female characters lead the narrative in an action space -adventure.
Air Twister: gameplay and controls
Suzuki used a simple approach with both storytelling and gameplay with Air Twister in order to have a wider reach among users. Air Twister is a simple but not silly game. You jump straight to gameplay, like old-school arcade games. You as a warrior princess have to zap the airborne enemies by swiping and tapping on the targets to shoot them. Just tap where you want to shoot and hold where you want to move. The faster you destroy your enemies, then you will be rewarded with a star which you can use to get weapons and cosmetic and health upgrades. The game works best with touch controls, but you can also play Air Twister on the Apple TV box with a Bluetooth controller attached. The game has 12 stages and 10 boss battles, each with its own set of challenges. Speed is important here, as is timing.
Should I play Air Twister?
I always think a game should be fun, whether it’s simple or complicated. Air Twister isn’t Suzuki’s best work to date, and I understand that. The main problem with Air Twister is that it gets repetitive after a while but never tests your patience or gets boring. It’s a relaxing game that can be played when you need a little break between work. Air Twister can be played for stunning visuals and music, something you don’t often see on a mobile game.