Nintendo Flashback: Pilotwings

Are you ready to earn your wings at the most exclusive flight school in the world? Then report immediately to the secret Pilotwings Flight Club, where your training begins! Pilotwings is a flight simulator game in which the player attempts to earn pilot licenses through lessons in light plane flight, hang gliding, skydiving, and the use of a rocket belt. Bonus stages and levels involving an attack helicopter are also available. Each event offers unique controls and gameplay mechanics.

SNES Mode 7

To increase the realism of the game’s flight simulation, the developers extensively utilized the SNES’s Mode 7 capability, which mimics 3D graphics by rotating and scaling flat objects. The graphics were quite amazing at the time and that combined with the addictive gameplay made this an instant hit on the Super Nintendo.



















Pilotwings took place in a series of training areas called the “Flight Club”. The player’s objective is to pass each training area and earn licenses based on the difficulty of the courses. Each area features events, which may be played in any order. In these events, the player controls one of four aerial vehicles and must complete a task (usually flying through floating markers) within a time limit. Upon completing or failing an objective, the player earns points and receives comments from the instructors. After completing the certification courses of all four instructors, the player is informed that an agent has infiltrated an enemy base on the fictional Izanu Island and has freed the player’s captive instructors, who are waiting to be rescued. This rescue mission stands out from the normal courses in that the player does more than maneuver a craft. As the player flies over the island, they must successfully dodge anti-aircraft fire from ground-based turrets, and, although the helicopter is able to fire missiles to destroy the artillery, a single hit to the craft causes the game to end. Completing this mission earned the player the “Pilot’s Wings” certificate and opened up even harder training areas.

















Wii U Pilotwings?

While it was nice to soar over WuHu Island on the 3DS in PilotWings Resort, I’m hopefully Nintendo will take full advantage of the Wii U and give us another exciting entry to play from this franchise. I’m sure the new gamepad could make for some truly innovative gameplay elements and make it the best Pilotwings of the series.

Written by: Dan Adcock

Avid gamer who enjoys the older nostalgic titles as much as the newest AAA releases. Remakes from the classic 8 and 16 bit era are some my absolute favorite titles. I also enjoy experiencing new IP's on each and every platform, especially when the creators give the game an artistic look and unique presentation never seen before. I've been lucky enough to start out gaming on the NES. Since this rebirth of the industry, I have witnessed the evolution of gaming, both in its incredible growth in overall popularity and as an entertainment medium juggernaut. With the next generation of gaming upon us, there simply hasn't been a better time to be a gamer and I can't wait to experience all that it has to offer.


Dropping the hammer on games, gadgets and gear since 2011