Apple Arcade: A Review of Air Twister

Does Air Twister have enough action?
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Our rating: 2.5/5

On June 24th, 2022, Air Twister came to Apple Arcade. Because Apple Arcade is only $4.99 a month for unlimited access, and without any sneaky monetization strategies, Air Twister is a steal. That is no question, but does this Action Swipe Shooter pack the action is promises?

New to Apple and iOS, Air Twister is an imaginative game that allows its players to take on the role of Princess Arch, who is battling invaders to keep her world at peace. Players can swipe-shoot their way through multiple stages, different landscapes, and kill various invaders, A.K.A. bad guys. Sounds good, right?

In this guide, I review Air Twister, answering the question: Is Air Twister a fun, action-packed, and successful mobile game?

Developed by

Yu Suzuki YS Net Inc.

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 13.0 or later
  • iPad iPadOS 13.0 or later
  • iPod Touch iOS 13.0 or later
  • Mac macOS 12.0 or later
  • Apple TV tvOS 13.0 or later
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The Air Twister controls are, overall, disappointing. I love simplistic controls, controls I don't have to second-guess, smooth, seamless controls like Diablo Immortal has.

There is such a thing, however, as too simplistic, in just the same way that you can have too much of a good thing. These controls are so simplistic that they don't work well together. Air Twister was certainly aiming for a simple game, but at what cost? Even the "Advanced Techniques," I am guessing meant to resolve the overlap of controls that can often feel clumsy and chaotic, feels like an afterthought, patchwork, or a band-aid.

All-in-all, the controls in Air Twister need tweaking. Even basic tweaks to create two controls with no overlap, would help create more fluid gameplay. However, I think the controls need more of a facelift than that.

Pros

  • Simplistic (though, overly simplistic).
  • Only a couple of controls (making gameplay easy for multiple ages).
  • A repeatable tutorial is available, helping players get used to the controls.
  • Lock-on swipe shooting is fun.

Cons

  • Simplistic point touch play controls without any real variation.
  • Interaction of controls is not well planned. Players tap and swipe enemies to attack, or tap and hold to move the character. Controls overlap, which can get confusing and result in gameplay mishaps.
  • Advanced techniques act as an afterthought or band-aid for flawed controls.

Air Twister gameplay is predictable and repetitive, but enjoyable. Swipe shooting as a genre is essentially simplistic and addicting, and those who like this genre know what to expect and enjoy the methodical, dependable trance that it puts them in. Though that trance is inhibited by the less-than-perfect controls, I understand how it could be addicting.

Gameplay, though repetitive, comes with some pretty rad cutscenes, especially for a mobile game. Cutscenes often include slow-motion, swan-riding, mushroom floating, fire breathing excitement, which I found interesting and exciting.

However, controls truly inhibited my ability to enjoy the gameplay. Swipe shooting is meant to be fluid, and when controls aren't fluid, gameplay isn't as fluid. It also lacks real action, especially as an action swipe shooting game. Action isn't action when the same actions keep occurring.

Pros

  • Cool cutscenes.

Cons

  • No dialogue in cutscenes.
  • Control issues impact fluidity of gameplay.
  • Simplistic without the necessary fluidity to make it addicting.
  • Tasks are over-simplified, both daily and weekly.
  • Game lacks true action.

The Air Twister world and backstory is what I affectionately refer to as a hot mess, a weird hodgepodge, a confusing mismatch. At best, they are creative yet confusing.

Players are thrown into a creative world where giant swans glide through the air with Princess Arch shooting at bad guys and flipping around during cool cutscenes. Mushrooms float ever so slightly above seas of calm water. Princess Arch fights invaders that threaten the safety of her Alice in Wonderland-like World. It's pretty interesting and creative.

However, there is no real cohesion, no glue holding this world and these characters together. Players can read story chapters, but those story chapters are disjointed and lacking clarity. Air Twister would've been much more successful had it created the world and story chapters more thoroughly and built the entire game off them, weaving them together so that the world, chapters, music, and characters feel like one, big idea instead of several mismatched ideas.

Pros

  • Creative world.
  • Interesting concepts.
  • Pretty cool giant swans.

Cons

  • Concepts are mismatched, meaning the game lacks an overall cohesive idea and feeling that makes gameplay addictive.
  • Chapters lack clarity.
  • The game as a whole feels disjointed.
  • Music is classic rock that gets annoying fast and doesn't connect to gameplay, though this is also partially a personal preference.

I wanted to love Air Twister, but it fell a bit short for me. The combination of the control issues, strange and disjointed world or backstory, and the oversimplified daily and weekly tasks made it difficult for me to appreciate what was done right in Air Twister.

And the fact is: there are some wonderfully creative aspects of Air Twister that pulled me right in. Who doesn't want to ride swans through the sky like Harry Potter on a Hippogriff? Floating mushrooms and movie-style cut scenes, too? There is some truly good stuff here, but the game is so disjointed, the controls so ineffective, and the tasks so basic that I found myself bored too quickly for Air Twister to stay on my iPhone.

Pros

  • Creative world-making and ideas.
  • Swans.
  • Cutscenes.

Cons

  • Mismatched world-making and backstory.
  • Control issues.
  • Music.
  • Story chapters lack clarity.
  • Oversimplified gameplay and tasks.
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