Retro Profile: Pilot Wings (SNES)

by Nicholas Roussos

Some games are memorable for their story. Some are memorable for their graphics. Others are memorable because they innovated. Pilotwings is memorable simply because it was so much fun to play. Pilotwings was supposed to demonstrate the SNES’s power to its fullest. It may have done that, but what it really did was provide enticing and varied gameplay that could be enjoyed over and over again.

The premise for Pilotwings is simple. Players earn piloting licenses for different air sports including lightplane, skydiving, jetpack, and hang-gliding. Each level features a different island with various degrees of difficulty. As the game progresses, you find yourself performing tasks such as skydiving through rings while aiming to land on a ground target, and eventually taking off and landing a lightplane.

The game has an authentic feel to it. With the whirring sound of wind as you skydive and the humming of the lightplane’s engine, the sounds of this game not only make your experience feel more real but also memorable in their own right. While it is somewhat of a short game, Pilotwings’ difficulty varies greatly from start to finish and the levels can be enjoyed numerous times. Each vehicle is very much like its own mini-game, and it’s easy to pick favorites.

Stay or Play? Pilotwings is a great game that’s loads of fun. Even if you’ve mastered the cartridge many times before, it can be fun to break it out and just fly around. Plus, you can always impress your friends with a near perfect skydive landing. Play it for sure.