Flying city, flying fishes, pirates and airplane crafting, these are all part of Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings, an interesting roguelike shoot ’em up. Learn more about it in our Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings review!
Welcome to Granaria, a flying city in the clouds. Meet Amelia – a young pilot and fisherwoman wishing to reach the abundant worlds edge. Sky fishing became a really dangerous job, with pirates roaming around everywhere. So start your engines, arm your airplane and get ready to make the catch of a lifetime! Airheart combines free roaming, twin stick gameplay with a beautiful, colorful world. Defeat your enemies, salvage their scrap and reuse it to craft new parts for your airplane.
The story of the game revolves around Amelia who wants to reach way up in the sky, close to the stratosphere, to find the legendary whale fish that could make her rich. She’ll have to depart on fishing trips in the sky that will allow her to get the necessary money and parts to upgrade her plane and reach the higher levels in the sky, all while avoiding air pirates, drones, and monstrous beasts.
To achieve this, you’ll start with a brief tutorial that will help you learn your airplane’s basics. While navigating in levels, you can shoot your guns to destroy enemy ships (or flying fishes if you hit them by mistake), or shoot your harpoon which can either help you take down those pirate ships for some parts or destroy shielded objects.
After clearing a level, you’ll be able to navigate to the next one, which means going up another layer in the sky and adding a bit of difficulty while you’re at it. Obviously, the higher you go, the more fishes and enemies you’ll find, but also the bigger the rewards for you if you succeed. That’s when the roguelike experience will kick in. You see, your plane has hit points, and you don’t want it to be destroyed, so it’s always a matter of gaging whether you’ll be able to make it or not.
At any point, you can choose to hold down on the D-pad for a couple of seconds to initiate your descent to go back to your hangar, which will have you avoiding the floating islands of previous levels while getting there. If you fail to get back before your hit points reach zero, the same descent will start, but with a damaged plane that’s harder to control Failing to reach the hangar will result in permadeath, so you’ll lose all your money and upgrades, and you’ll have to start over the whole process, so be careful out there!
When you’re back at your hangar, you’ll be able to purchase airplane upgrades that will help you boost stats such as hit points and damage dealt, amongst others. Buying them will also grant you the “recipe” to build the part back, should you lose it after crashing your plane. These recipes can be used to craft the parts back with the materials you gathered from pirate planes, but you can also try yourself at crafting stuff without recipes… but you need to be aware that if crafting fails, you’ll lose some money and the materials you used.
While the hangar part of the game is basically some menus where you pick up stuff, the real beauty and charm come from the level design. There’s a lot of detail on all those floating islands you fly over in the levels, and the fact that each stage is literally over the previous one creates an incredibly nice perspective as you progress through the game, and as you head back down to the hangar.
I like myself playing roguelike and shoot ’em up games here and there, so I was obviously very curious about this one because I wasn’t sure how the two genres would mix together. Fortunately for me, the mix works! After a couple of times backing out to my hangar, since I was a bit too reckless, I started getting the hang of the game, and then the fun kicked in. The game is incredibly easy to pick up as you basically just have to collect fishes and shoot down enemy planes and drones while staying alive, but progressing through the multiple levels quickly becomes very addictive. Add to that the fact that you have to be really careful if you want to continue upgrading your plane, and you have an incredibly fun time with that “just one more level” feeling every time you successfully clear a stage.
As for the trophies, there are a couple of them that should be unlocked without much effort as you progress through the game, but there is also some challenging stuff in there that should make the Platinum a nice achievement to get. Reaching the upper levels with your starting plane should prove to be a great challenge since you will probably have a hard time making it past the third level if you haven’t upgraded your plane!
In the end, Blindflug Studios have created a nice and really enjoyable little gem in Airheart. It’s fun, addictive, and blends in together two genres in a nice way that provides a different experience from the usual shoot ’em up games available on Ps4. If twin-stick shooters are your thing, and you like some roguelike in your shoot ’em up, then you should definitely try this one!
This Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Blindflug Studios.