WWI, a setting we do not get to see to often in game releases. Trench warfare, no man’s land, mustard gas these all come to mind and a hard thing to balance and make enjoyable some games have attempted and met with some success like Battlefield 1 or Verdun. Red Wings: Aces of the sky developed by ALL IN! GAMES. For Nintendo Switch being a arcade style dog fighting game focuses on the dawn of aeronautical combat a sometimes overlooked element to WWI despite the legendary ace The Red Barron or Manfred von RichthofenFreiherr and his Red Trilplane a Fokker DR.1 are arguably some of the most recognizable and iconic figures of the Era with 80 confirmed air victiories. The DR.1 is the starting aircraft for the germans a few others either side are available to unlock too four either side and some diffrent skins each. All differing slightly in Max speed, Endurance and heat resistance. These are pretty quick and easy to unlock too and even tell you very clearly how to do so.
As for the story you become one of the pilots in the previously mentioned infamous ace The Red Baron squadron on the German side of the campaign Red wings featuring a story for both sides of the war story. This is presented in comic book style with cut scenes and loading screen text, and what little story is here is enjoyable focusing more on the pilots themselves giving you some loose context through the war and to you missions which you take part in. I’m happy to say these have some variety too from destroying weather balloons or defending your own from enemy planes, even mixing things up with occasionally top down bombing run missions while adding something different the focus of the game the dog fighting and there oriented missions is where Red Wings truly shines.
Being a more arcade style dog fighting game Red Wings keeps it fairly simple you do not have to worry about X and Y rolling shenanigans like you would find in expert mode in Ace Combat. For example you have to manage a fuel gauge and health bar, these can be restored by rings you can find throughout levels, you also get a total of four abilities to use. This includes barrel rolls which give you brief invulnerablity as well as a quick turn which does the same, allowing you to turn on a dime. You also can call in a fighter squadron to attack enemy’s as well as a finisher you can execute. This sees you pull out your pistol and shoot the enemy pilot showing some of the crazy things that happened in WWI dogfights of course all these are on cool down, but thankfully can be upgraded and carry over between Survial and both the campaigns saving on busy work.
All this make Red Wings an enjoyable experience although it does lack depth the coolest thing I wish I seen more done with was clouds acting as cover obsuring your aircraft. Having a total of eight air crafts with only statistical improvements, the same four abilities this means the combat while fun can quickly get a bit repetitive at times and while the mission objectives changing it up occasionally does add something as well as the survival mode these are also limited. Overall it is enjoyable and does run well in both hand held and docked and is also co-op which is handy to get higher ratings on the later campaigns missions having an additional wingman.
A Nintendo Switch review code was provided by All In! Games