It’s time for yet another Wii game. This one is a classic plane game but instead of being your average flight simulator you get to help out around the farm. It’s a pretty unique style of gameplay and it’s one that I can get behind. It does have some issues and the game is a little too short if you ask me. Fortunately the going price is only around 2-3 dollars so that’s really not too shabby.
The basic plot is that these two birds own a plane repair shop. You can bring yours in for repairs or you can hire the pilot out to help you out on the farm. The latter is typically the option that they go with. The main character is never eager to help, but he knows that it is ultimately the only correct choice. Can he transport the logs and help the farmers or is this rural life too much for the kid?
The plot certainly isn’t the most engaging and there isn’t really a sense of danger in this game. The only time we get anything close to an action scene is the final level as pirates attack one of our clients. We never actually see these pirates of course, but their ships are around. We don’t believe in violence so to take them down you just have to cut the ropes that they attached to your friend’s ship to drive them off. Those pirates won’t want to mess with you again after that am I right?
The two main characters aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t say that they’re very good either. The main character is very timid and constantly forced into these situations by the main heroine. He just doesn’t come across as heroic aside from the very last mission where it is brought up. The main heroine is all right as I’m glad she’s tough but why doesn’t she go help out as well? She is likely a big shot pilot just like the main lead so there is no excuse. I guess she just likes calling the shots.
As for the gameplay, the plane part should be easy to picture as you fly straight, up, down, and all around as you fulfill the mission. You have no weapons of course but pressing B will let go of whatever cargo you have or activate the steam to get rid of the small fires all around. You can also press up or down on the Wii Remote dpad to speed up or slow down. I actually didn’t know about this until I was pretty deep into the game, but I wish I had known sooner. It’s pretty hard to win without it since you’re just coasting along at a slow speed otherwise. It can be pretty hard to get used too, but you’ll get the hang of it. Just don’t connect the Nunchuk, the controls get a whole lot more complicated if you do.
The various missions that you undertake are things like “Drop the Logs” “Put out the Fire” “Pop the Balloons” etc. Most of the missions end up repeating themselves. There are 15 missions in Story Mode and then you unlock a few extra ones. I think it ends up being 20 total give or take a little. I just focused on the Story Mode levels and completed the game in around 2 hours. As I mentioned earlier that’s pretty short, but given the low price it’s not a deal breaker. You should still enjoy it just fine.
What hampers the gameplay a little are the controls. I don’t need to say much about the Wii Remote as its limitations speak for themselves. Turning is more of a hassle than it should be and especially if there are strong winds. The winds aren’t really the Wii Remote’s fault as it’s a game feature, but it’s one that definitely should not have been in the game. If you crash too much you’ll die and there is a tough level where you have to blow up a bunch of rocks. The game can be deceptively difficult in some levels but you’ll definitely conquer them if you just keep at it. Some levels took me more lives than I care to remember but if you’re getting stuck, make sure to buy some upgrades from the shop. It’s incredible how much difference a new engine or a lighter plane can make. The winds won’t be able to stop you. Or if you accelerate, I didn’t know how to do that at the time and I’m sure it would have helped quite a lot.
Graphically the game holds up pretty well. We do get a few fully animated cutscenes and the level designs are all very bright and thought out well. You’ll never get lost as the map is quite good and the screen isn’t cluttered. The developer made the most of what I can only imagine was a very limited budget for this game. The soundtrack is less memorable. I would guess that there were only about 5 different tunes or less in the game as it seemed like they kept repeating. Nothing bad, but you’ll forget the music almost instantly. I suppose the soothing music will help you stay focused though.
For replay value, the game does have a few other modes like Free Play and Advanced. The multiplayer will keep you busy and the game is just pretty fun. It’s easy to pick up and play even if it doesn’t have a lot of depth. Even with the replay value I guess the game is pretty short but it helps a little bit. I wish the medals were easier to see as well in the stages but the way they calculate the score felt pretty busted so I’m sure I didn’t miss a whole lot.
Sadly this is one of those games that doesn’t really have an ending. The game just very abruptly stops and the credits roll. I guess I didn’t want a big sappy ending anyway, but a little closure would be nice. Even something brief like the island finally acknowledging the main character would have been cool. At least the credits said “Thanks for playing” so that was always cool. I did feel like this game had more heart than most of its rivals.
Overall, Wing Island is a fun game. It may not have been exactly what I had expected, but I always like a good plane game. It feels like a cross between something like Top Gun and the Toy helicopter game I got a while back. It should entertain anyone for a little while and even a kid could play it since the controls are pretty easy. It’s worth checking out, but just make sure you pay a fair price for it. It’s definitely not worth anything too expensive.