On Cloud Nine.

Title: Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Blindflug Studios AG
Publisher: Blindflug Studios AG
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: A beautiful rogue adventure set in the clouds!
Price: Console – $18/£15
PC – $15/£11
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

Welcome to Granaria, a flying city that sits in the clouds. Airheart follows Amelia, our main protagonist, a young pilot and a fisher who wants to reach all new heights whilst fighting off sky pirates and mechanised creatures that patrol the clouds above the world below. Amelia is out to catch as many Skyfish as possible, a new breed of fish that’s rich in oils and sells for some serious moola, something Amelia needs in order to fit her plane with heavy firepower and defenses as fights her way to the skies above. From Swiss development team Blindflug comes an exciting new dieselpunk rogue-like game Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings. It’s a game of piloting skills, resource management, and strategic upgrades.

Granaria serves as your home base; a place to store your equipment, purchase new items or craft your own parts. Your workbench is truly the best part of Granaria as it stores all of your collected parts. Once a part is complete, it can be equipped to your ship, sold for money, or broken down for a blueprint. Should you choose to do the latter, the part will be destroyed, but the blueprint enables you to purchase it for a fraction of the retail price. Players will able be able to start with any blueprinted part, should their plane be destroyed.

Unfortunately, blueprinting can be a risky business, as the success rate is an abysmally low 25% and if the process fails, you’ll be left a few scraps and the part you once had will no longer exist in your inventory… This is can be incredibly frustrating as the success rate can’t be improved, meaning it’s possible for you to lose four complete parts before successfully obtaining a blueprint.

Granaria’s store carries a wide variety of parts and weapons, including set plane configurations. Each plane is broken into three parts: the chassis, engine, and wings, the plane configurations give you a set of parts that work well together and have a matching aesthetic, but mixing and matching parts to create your own custom flying machines is easily one of the most rewarding parts of Airheart. Unfortunately, the best parts are insanely expensive, and purchasing anything big requires careful saving, and even more careful flying. A single chassis can take several hours of gameplay to save up for… Although once you’ve bought or crafted the parts you need, assembling your vessel is as simple as flipping a switch.

Airheart’s controls take a bit of getting used to. Instead of having the usual directional control, say you were travelling east and you pushed the stick left, you’d turn toward the north, however, Airheart doesn’t work like that. The game prefers that if you press a direction, you will head in that direction, regardless of the previous flight path. Other than the unusual directional inputs, the rest of the game handles well, though not perfectly. I never felt like I had 100% precision accuracy when flying my plane, regardless of how long I practised. The overall feel changes dramatically when different parts are equipped, but the slightly slippery sensation never completely disappears.

The thing that stood out to me most when playing Airheart was the game’s design. The rich colour palette allows everything to contrast with one another; the deep blue sky coupled with the crimson red plane whilst hurling shining bullets into the clouds is pure eyegasm! Plus, the art style is gorgeous and very similar to the art style present in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which fits perfectly in Airheart.

Overall, Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings is an enjoyable and unique experience. I haven’t played anything like this game before and in a market where everything is about guns and competitive multiplayer, Airheart stands out amongst the crowd and is definitely worth your attention. So, put down your Call of Duty and Battlefield’s and pick up Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings and start fishing towards your dreams!

The Good

  • Stunning art direction.
  • Incredibly in-depth creation and customision options.
  • Fun pirate battles.

The Bad

  • The controls can be a tad bit frustrating to pick up.
  • In game prices need adjusting.
  • Blueprints need adjusting.

Family Focus

Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings is rated E for Everyone by ESRB and PEGI 3.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a digital code of the game provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.