Games Gazette Logo

 
This is how all my forrays end, but as Britney Airhead would say "OOPS! I did it again"

 Blindflug Studios AG     Pocket Universe Productions

AIRHEART: the DELUXE EDITION  £14.19
In this bundle you get:
The Early Access game AIRHEART - Tales of broken Wings
Play as a pilot in the world above the clouds on the hunt of the legendary cloudwhale. A dieselpunk twin stick shooter in a beautiful setting full of skyfish, pirates and zeppelins.

- The Original Soundtrack DLC
A beautiful EP of 20 minutes length as a digital download. Proceedings of this dlc go directly to the awesome artists of Pocket Universe Productions to help them sustain themselves.

- The Bonus Content DLC
A collection of cool stuff we do during development. Starting with two digitally painted wallpapers of concept art from the game and four A3 print files for the Airplane Ad posters that we used in exhibitions around the world

Also, by purchasing the Deluxe Edition you are majorly supporting the Early Access endeavours. All three of these are set to grow further during the early access phase. Thank you very much for supporting us along the way!

PUNK used to be a way of expressing yourself musically, like the Sex Pistols and "Anarchy", The Stranglers "Golden Brown" and the Boomtown Rats "Mondays" at least that is how I used to think of Punk. Then along came the game genre of Georgian/Victorian times with clockworks and mechanical marvels full of gears, cogs and smoke billowing engines; yes Steampunk had arrived. Airheart is a self proclaimed dieselpunk game, but it hasn't forgotten it's musical roots as there is a super download giving you 20 minutes of brilliantin-game background music, sounds from the game in full, that accompanies the Deluxe Edition and which can be bought and downloaded separately (£2.79).

AIRHEART is set in the floating city of Granaria. Our heroine is Amelia - a young pilot with aspirations of reaching the worlds edge and discovering what lies beyond in the wide blue skies. Until she can feed her dreams though she has to complete her training and also catch enough Skyfish to help keep the Granarian market stable.

Catching Skyfish is relatively easy if you are good at manoeuvering your craft across the sky as all you have to do is fly over them, like catching bonuses in a racing game or picking up coins/loot in an adventure game. Of course these fish don't just sit there and let you catch them, they sky-swim, twisting and turning, especially the more important ones - those that bring the most money. Once you have completed your angling training your targets change from the Skyfish to other planes that also shoot back - the fish aren't armed - and then you also have to learn to use your skyhook.

 

To reach the higher stratosphere you need to locate and use the sky-catapult device. Just land on it and WHOOSH! there you are, spinning and dizzy, way up high where new challenges await. You have free roaming ability so that you can explore while playing or play while exploring. Apart from fish you collect all manner of space-scrap, some of which you can craft into new parts for your bright yellow single-engined turbo prop. You can create some of the space-scrap (actually most of it) by shooting down enemy planes, rocky escarpments on the floating islands (some of these have Bullseyes painted on them in the early beginnings of your training) and blasting almost everything in sight.

 

AIRHEART has elements of Soccer Management and Motor Racing Management games. You have an Office which serves as your hub or base of operations. Here you are just one click away from the Hangar where your plane is stored ready for you to take out for a spin or to the Workbench where you can craft and upgrade when possible, just like the screens in those aforementioned games where you buy/sell/train players etc. Once you have crafted and created an item you have choices for using it; Sell it for cash, upgrade your plane with it or break it down to form a blueprint so you have the map of how to build it later if required. However it should be remembered that about 3 of 4 attempts at creating a blueprint fail and you lose the item and the majority of the resources used to create it.

 

AIRHEART is best played with a controller/gamepad rather than mouse and keyboard. I have a wired controller which was made as a dual PS3 and PC gamepad, but although I have used it for some games on the PC it doesn't want to work with AIRHEART on Steam. However, I have managed to play and enjoy AIRHEART using the Mouse/Keys method of control, though flying in tight circles and quick turns isn't as easy. I also have this tendency to dodge whatever is floating in the air, this does include the fishes I am supposed to be catching, the same way I manoeuvre around the bonus pick-ups in racing games, I really have to concentrate on aiming at them - I think it must be because I have been riding motorbikes and driving cars for over 50 years and it just comes naturally to try not to hit things.

 

This is a beautifully designed game that looks good and I imagine with a gamepad it would be so much easier to control, but even so I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is colourful but not gaudy, it is animated action but not comic-style. There are mini quests throughout, either by training or collecting, crafting or upgrading, and of course there is the fast exciting combat, I love a good dogfight (not that I like fighting dogs of course). It builds up as you progress from being a fairly light-hearted romp Space-Fishing to an adrenaline buzzing, full-on action and combat game. 

 

AIRHEART was launched sometime in 2016 with early access to some delight but also to some criticism over the minor but many bugs. I didn't play it back then, at least I have no memory of it, so I cannot make any factual comparisons, but I can say that I haven't found anything, bug or otherwise, to suspend my pleasure in playing it. The price is good, you save just over 30 Bob if you buy the Deluxe Edition, the graphics never fail to amaze, and your heroine, Amelia, is a nice touch. Certainly I would look seriously about splashing the little amount of required cash for the hours of entertainment there is within this package.

 This makes a pleasant change 

 
This (the above pic) is more like it. The word "failure" tends to go hand in hand with my attempts to craft upgrades.

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015