If you’re going to name a game after someone, Amelia Earhart is a fine choice. Not only was she the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, but she also formed a feminist organisation, may have been a spy, and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. She was, as the children say, ‘lit’.
Airheart developers Blindflug Studios put this inspiration to good use. They’ve mixed 1920’s biplane aesthetic with steampunk and anime elements to create something unique. It’s certainly one of the better-looking indie games we’ve seen on Switch, full of luscious trees growing on islands, floating in a beautiful blue sky.
You play as Amelia, who lives in a floating city called Granaria. Her day job involves jumping into a biplane and catching fish. Sky fish. This is achieved simply by flying your little plane into them, earning money that’s later used to purchase upgrades.
The levels have an interesting verticality to them. Each is essentially one ‘tier’ higher than the last, and in each, you can enter something which will propel you higher.
If only things were as simple as catching fish before skyrocketing to the next tier.
Enemy biplanes, drones, and the occasional massive blimpy boss dwell within the levels. You need to get your weapons trained on them, via the age-old technique of twin-stick shooting. This isn’t a twitch shooter like Geometry Wars, though – it’s slower and more tactical. There’s a vastly different pace. It’s all about making sure you have enough manoeuvrability and that you don’t take on too much at once.
The handling on the planes is less than ideal initially, but if you persevere, the handling model is quite unique and rewarding.