I’ve always wanted to pilot airplanes in video games. There’s this childlike awe that I still hold towards the steel birds of the sky. Unfortunately, fighter sims and the like are usually too realistic and in-depth for me to enjoy properly. The side-scrolling arcade game SkyFighter fits the bill much better.
Variety of Things to Shoot
Every mission is a new adventure. I went from defending trains to taking down planes in a flying fortress. All the missions are designed to be similar enough for pick up and play while being distinct enough to keep me coming back for more. Escort missions were also not as painful as they usually are because most of the enemies are concentrated on taking you down instead of picking on the helpless escorted party.
Using a hybrid system of normal side-scrolling and dual stick shooting, planes fly with precision and control. There’s a physics system in place so that you don’t zoom off doing roll after roll, but it is fairly easy to use. That’s especially handy, since you’ll probably be spending the majority of the time firing from one or two guns on your plane.
Once you go outside the main campaign, there’s a throw-in multiplayer mode, but not much else. The missions don’t offer much when it comes to replay value and the multiplayer definitely isn’t something that will hold your attention for long. The content there is present is solid, but it’s hard to find any reason to revisit the game after the initial playthrough.
SkyFighter is a fun flight for beginner fliers, but it lacks any deep substance to quench the thirst of veterans. Likewise, even the beginners will start to crave something more substantial after the initial playthrough.