Budget gaming has increased dramatically in 2020 amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Indie games have seen increases in profit and games that are reaching older anniversaries on current generation consoles are also seeing an increase in sales. Often a lower price tag is something to put people off playing a game, especially if it is a physical release, but often there are gems to be found in the wild.
Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron is one of those games. Now before I continue I would like to add that currently this game costs less that £10 on Amazon, and the link is at the bottom of this page.
Aces of the Luftwaffe on the Nintendo Switch is the extended edition, but having not played this title before I was not sure what to expect in the slightest. I purchased the game as it reminded me of Amiga style games where you could fly a World War II plane, with a top-down perspective battlefield, and wage war on the units below. I was however pleasantly shocked when I began playing this game.
The game is exactly as I expected but with so much more variance on the game mechanics. You are able to gain power ups, special abilities and use skills points to unlock more features for your four planes within your squadron. There is also a fantastic sci-fi element to the game, with steampunk-style technologies, space-age planes and enemies, and insane boss fights. During the game events occur such as your wingmen going crazy and the controls becoming inverted for just that one place, or moments where you have to hover in order to drop bombs or mind-control other units.
The game feels fluid and is not dissimilar to games like Geometry Wars in the way it feels. The controls are simple for anyone to pick up, with the left stick or pad controlling the entire squadron, a shoulder button to rotate special abilities, and then a single firing button and special ability button.
The game is split into two campaigns, with one allowing the player to take control of the American side to the World War, and of course the second campaign allowing control of the Luftwaffe. You are free to start either campaign first, with the only unlokcables coming from the game in the guise of planes and skills.
Aces of the Luftwaffe contains a storyline with some questionable voice-acting, but it does not take away from the game. In fact the storyline is just enough to get by on and sets up each level nicely. If the dialogue irritates you then you are able to skip this entirely to get straight back into the action.
There are five chapters per campaign, with five levels each, meaning there are 50 levels in total! The skill level at the start is not massive, but it does progress during chapter three-four to a challenging level that has its rewards.
There is a multiplayer mode in Aces of the Luftwaffe which allows up to four players to take control of the squadron. This adds a lot of fun to the already chaotic game, with four planes controled independantly across the screen.
Authorised for take off
The game plays really well, it is fluid and the sound is great. As a game to add to any collection it would fit in really nicely. It also makes great use of the multiplayer function, bringing back couch co-op and allowing for more longevity of the game. The mechanics are fantastic and there are no frame rate drops when the screen becomes chaotic. Throughout the entire game there were only a few times when the screen slightly paused as a side mission objective had been completed, but it took nothing away from the gameplay. Overall it is a fantastic game which can be picked up at the link below.