7
Our overall verdict "bronze"

Time to take to the skies in the dieselpunk airplane action game brought to you by the Swiss development team Blindflug.

If the trailer tempts your thumbs be prepared for a colourful flight through layers and layers of levels. Your customisable plane will jet off from the floating city of Granaria and you’ll be soaring to the stratosphere – but if you’re expecting a first-class flight experience, think again. It’s time to fasten your seatbelts because there’s plenty of turbulence along the way.

You’ll take on the role of Amelia, a young pilot and fisherwoman who left the Earth below with a promise to her father that she’d catch the Skywhale and make him proud (and collect a generous pay check). Yup, it’s a game about fishing. In a plane. It gives a whole new meaning to “flying fish” – SKYFISH! Your mission is to catch fish, upgrade your plane, fly higher and higher – oh, and battle!

Granaria’s skies are filled with pirates who won’t hesitate for a moment to blast you out of the skies or steal your precious fish, so Amelia needs to make sure her guns are fully loaded. How exciting can a game about fish be? Play Airheart and you’ll soon know.

Pirates aren’t the only critters trying to send you spiralling down in a cloud of smoke, you’ll be racing through the clouds from huge airships and giant robotic flying snakes. Take enough hits and you’ll nosedive straight back down… crash land and you’ll lose your haul, damage your plane (possibly even wreck it completely) and have to restart from the launch pad. If you don’t make it back to the “safe” landing of Granaria, you’ll be greeted by an official “Game Over” screen and they mean it! Back to square one – so try not to stray too far!

Each level has plenty of fish for you to hook (well, run into with your propeller – that’s one way to make sushi I suppose), loot for you to collect (including health packs and materials to sell), pirates to blow apart and a glowing “up” sign which if you didn’t already guess sends you full throttle to the next level of clouds. It’s visually impressive and the colourful hues set a beautiful dream-like world that’ll keep you fishing for hours – honestly, it’s so addictive I happily played through dinner time, three phone calls from my wonderful mother went unanswered and if I’d have been braver I could’ve easily missed a few days at the office.

The control system is simple, left thumbstick steers, right thumbstick aims, and your shoulder buttons fire weapons or your harpoon. Nothing too difficult to master so you can get stuck in and focus on what’s happening around you.

If you manage to make it back down safely after a flight, you’ll reap your rewards and once you’ve saved up enough pennies, you can jump into the workshop and upgrade your plane. Visual changes, performance changes and most importantly for those with a personal vendetta against those pesky pirates, weapon upgrades! Again, simple but incredibly addictive. It’s like getting stuck into a good book and “one more page” turns into “one more chapter” and before you realise it’s the year 3000 and we live underwater. Never thought I’d quote that band.

Conclusion

All in all, Airheart – Tales of Broken Wings is just a simple, easy play which can pass 5 minutes whilst you’re waiting for your mates or entertain you for hours. A multiplayer option would definitely make it a party game for a night in with your pilot pals but in the early release phase, it’s fine to keep the pad to yourself because if you did allow someone to take a turn, you may as well go find something to do because you aren’t going to get another go for a while! With updates and patches coming through thick and fast, I can see this game rocketing onto quite a few peoples PS libraries. So, if this looks like your kind of fun, give it a go. If you’re not sure it’s for you – you’re wrong. Buckle up and shoot for the stars!

Karl Rating 7/10

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Karl

Karl Just your average gamer, plus so much more. Karl has grown up watching gaming change from “geeky” to what all the cool kids do. From SNES and Sega to whatever version of PlayStation or XBox is coming next, he loves it all. Born in Manchester, lives near London. Complete weirdo. Doesn’t own a tiger… yet. Spyro is his spirit animal. Follow him on twitter @arl_with_a_K