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Release year: 1990 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Nintendo EAD

Pilotwings (SNES)

Nintendo’s Pilotwings is a flight simulator video game developed and published for their Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1990. In this game, your main goal as a player is to earn licenses in a variety of aerial sports such as the light plane, skydiving, and hang-gliding. A sequel of the game, Pilotwings 64, was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996.

Pilotwings starts with the player (you) accepting the offer to join The Flight Club for training to become licensed in 4 flying courses, namely light plane flying, skydiving, the use of rocket belt, and hang-gliding.

Each event has different gameplay mechanics and scoring criteria. You pass each course by completing certain tasks for that particular event (e.g. following a path of orbs in light plane flight and falling through rings of orbs in skydiving).

In the end, your points are determined by certain criteria such as accuracy of landing and the total time taken to finish the task. What’s more, you can take advantage of the bonus stages and tasks, such as landing on moving platforms and falling into target areas, to further increase your score.

Then, after completing all of the lessons and becoming licensed in all four courses of Pilotwings, you will be informed that your instructors got kidnapped and need to be rescued. Your mission is to fly a missile-loaded attack helicopter into an island to save them, and completing this unlocks expert mode and more difficult training areas and missions.

Nintendo really did a great job on this one by using SNES’ Mode 7 graphics to give Pilotwings the dimensions that it needs and, as a result, was successful in giving the flight simulation a more realistic feel. As far as music and effects, though, there is nothing too fancy, but you’d barely notice these as the game itself is enough to give you a good time.

Pilotwings animated GIF

Pilotwings for the Super NES is not too long, but will probably get you preoccupied longer than other games can as you try and try to achieve the best scores, if not the perfect scores, for all the vehicles. This is where you’ll find yourself being highly challenged and at times frustrated (but in a good way) as you think of various approaches to attain higher scores. Indeed, this game is the right balance of difficult, tricky, and fun – absolutely worth revisiting or playing if you haven’t tried it yet!

Pilotwings has been ported to SNES (this version), and Virtual Console. Do you want to play it online? Go to the top of the page!

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Pilotwings
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Pilotwings