I would like to give a big thank you to the developers of AIRHEART, Blindflug Studios AG who provided me with a copy of the game.
Air heart is a dieselpunk airplane action rogue-like game in which you play the role of Amelia who’s dream is to reach the stratosphere and catch the legendary sky whale so she can become rich and make her father who was left on the ground proud.
At the start of the game, you do a brief tutorial in which you must earn your sky fishing license in order to chase your dream.
It took me a few minutes to get used to controlling the plane but after learning how the plane moves it’s easy to control.
After completing the tutorial you’re free to chase your dream of catching that skywhale.
The game is open world and as soon as you start you can go as high as you want, but there will be enemies which try to stop you. Along your journey, you will encounter Pirates who will want shoot you down the higher you get the more powerful they are so when you first start playing you will find it hard to get past the first few sky levels.
To reach the next level of the sky you need to use the gates which will send you higher, if there are pirates close by the gates will close so you will need to hunt down the pirates and when they are destroyed or leave the area the gate will open and you can fly your plane to the next level.
Destroying pirates will cause different materials to be dropped from scrap metal to machine parts and more these are used to craft new weapons and plane parts.
The crafting can be a little frustrating. At the bottom of the screen you will see some of Ameilia’s ideas of what to make it will show you how many parts you need but won’t show you what you need so you need to guess if your wrong it will tell you which parts were right and which were wrong so it will be a case of trial and error what frustrated me was that even if your wrong you still have to pay to try to craft. Lucky when you do craft something you don’t need to remember the parts needed to make it as by pressing x or something you have made before the game will grab the correct parts for you, as long as you have them.
You can also buy new weapons in the store as well as new plane parts to make new planes.
The Nintendo Switch version adds an exclusive new mode called Party Mode in which 1-4 players can work together to control a Zeppelin and try to reach the stratosphere.
The controls are different here for each player and you can choose what job you will do from controlling they Zeppelin, one of its two guns, the harpoon, smart bombs, the boost and healing. Healing the ship is another thing which caused some frustration as the game doesn’t explain how to heal clearly pressing a button quickly will cause the healing station to close, you need to press and hold the button for a second before moving on to the next button. I played this mode with my two children and once they got used to it they really enjoyed playing it.
The graphics of the game are beautiful, and the look of each sky level will change the higher you get the first 4 levels are the Cherry Blossom yards upon reaching the 5th level you will reach the Autumn Levels in which as the name suggests it looks like Autumn. I did notice at certain times the game would stutter for a split second when a lot of pirates were on the screen and shooting at you in handheld mode, but in docked mode, I didn’t notice it happening, but it doesn’t affect the game.
The controls are very simple the left stick controls the plane the right stick controls your gun, ZR shoots your weapon ZL shoots your harpoon, X toggles between your primary and secondary weapon when you unlock it and L activates your overdrive. Press and hold down on the D-pad or the left joy-cons down button will let you fly home in which you must avoid islands and debris and land in the target. Flying into fish will catch them and let you collect their oil which will earn you money.
There is a population on each level of skyfish, the more you catch the lower the population will go, it will recover after some time though.
The game has 2 difficulties normal lets you just pay a penalty of losing some parts if you crash and miss the landing zone, so you won’t lose plane parts. Hard mode features Permadeath when you crash and miss Granaria and a high chance of losing plane parts.
In all Airheart is a fantastic game and you can tell the developers put a lot of love into the game and I cannot recommence the game enough.
I give Airheart a 9 out of 10.