Review: Air Twister – An Arcade Blast From Yu Suzuki’s Past, And A Missed Opportunity

Like we did last summer.

Back in 2010, the Wii’s Sin & Punishment: Star Successor inadvertently informed how, in various ways, the Space Harrier model could be revitalised in a contemporary fashion. In Air Twister, director Yu Suzuki, famous for creating Space Harrier, Out Run, and After Burner (not to mention Shenmue), doesn’t attempt anywhere near as many shakeups. Rather, it stays conventionally close to the original formula and functionality of Space Harrier, while housed in a modern graphical shell.

Originally designed and released on Apple’s iOS in 2022, Air Twister lends itself better to an analog stick and monitor than it does a thumb-obscured touchscreen. Playing as Princess Arch, you tour fantastical worlds, on rails, while either tapping for direct, stronger fire, or tracing over enemies for a lock-on reticle and a homing volley. Both shot types share the same button, so you simply have to stop tapping for the homing property to take effect. As pure an arcade experience as one could wish for, you avoid incoming fire, gun down as many enemies as possible, and then take out an end-of-level boss.

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