Wrap up warm with your immersion suit, light up your cigars, fasten your strap belts, and let’s get ready to pilot the flying tigers and rule the skies with Flying Tigers: Shadows over China.

The Indie studio based from Sweden, “Ace Maddox” (in an Xbox one exclusive) bring gamers around the world the opportunity to enjoy a historical combat/flight simulator based around the events of WWII.

Will Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China fly high, or have a crash landing? Read below to find out!

Starting off with the game modes on offer, we have single player, giving gamers the chance to enjoy the campaign which is centered around the story of Japan’s air battle against the Chinese during the timeline of the emotional Pearl Harbor.

Then there are three other modes; dogfight, challenge and free flight. Dogfight being like a free for all mode, where you slog it out on any map, in any condition chosen by the player, whack it on survival for a real test of one’s skill, as unlimited waves of enemies come at you. Challenge mode revolves around the completion of mini-missions and meeting a number of requirements, such as capturing flags and obliterating ships within the allotted time allowances.

The free flight mode does exactly what the title claims, enjoy the game world at your own leisure, without the pressures the other modes bring.

Those of you who fancy yourself as a bit of a sky wizard, the control style can be adjusted to pitch & roll, which represents the aircrafts in a more realistic piloting/navigating experience.

For me personally, I stuck with the arcade style, making the game more accessible/pick up and play. (Which was a good job, seeing as I rather sucked at the flight training alone) .

Back to the campaign and each mission is primarily to destroy the target, fulfill the objective requirements and onto he next. A neat feature available to use is the Trazertime, by pressing the X button. This causes an on-screen slow-motion effect, which proves useful during heated and tense dogfights, destroying ground vehicles and numerous other targets.

The map/hub system is well displayed in the lower left corner, to help pilots with those annoying targets that are well camouflaged or difficult to track down amongst the endless skies. BOMBS AWAY, yes there is even a bomb camera for when destroying wreckages, or protecting fellow pilots, to see those earth shuddering blasts in all its glory.

The game much to my surprise handles really well. The aircrafts are easy to manoeuvre, it takes a few attempts to get used to the barrel rolls/evasion techniques with the D-pad, but the planes breeze through the skies joyfully. The precision in aiming gunfire at other jet’s and objects offer a very satisfying experience as well, I certainly found this the most challenging aspect of flying the jets.  To keep your target in the line of sight, while handling the plane and sometimes trying to avoid being in the crossfire was a challenge In itself!

One really nice touch by Ace Maddox is the inclusion of mission stats. These pop up at the end of each level, detailing statistics and accuracy percentages. It’s not a huge inclusion by any means, but if like me, you enjoy seeing some steady improvement in ability, then it’s good to have there. The aircrafts are charming, unique and look detailed. Environments are relatively large in size and appear accurate, meanwhile, sound effects are well implemented. Gunfire, explosions, jet engines, all sound authentic. One criticism I noticed was the lack of variety in the missions, objectives were pretty repetitive and the story wasn’t expressed/narrated well enough to really get me gripped for the purpose of the campaign.

That doesn’t take anything away from the potential this game has. If you can look past those flaws, or avoid them all together with free flight mode, then there’s a lot of fun to have with this game. Visually the game performs above expectations, sure they won’t blow you away, but for a small indie company that does not have the resources/budget of rival larger firms, I felt the graphics were rather impressive, all things considered.

Sir Archibald Wavell would approve!

A Xbox One Review Code was provided by Ace Maddox