Pilot Wings Resort for the Nintendo 3DS is a calm, simple, and casual experience. At times, the game feels more like a vacation or expanded tech demo than a full-blown 3DS title. The sequel to the Nintendo 64 flight simulator, Resort is a fine game to introduce new players to the 3DS. On the other hand, there isn’t much of an in-depth offering for hardcore players, and this title ends up blurring that controversial line between the forty dollar AAA title and dollar store app in terms of content.
In Pilot Wings, you can fly one of a handful of aerodynamic contraptions around an island resort. The Mii’s that populate your 3DS take a leading role here, piloting a plane, jet-pack, and hang glider through several mission levels and a free flight mode.
Wu-Hu Island is where you’ll do most of your flying, and it sure is a beautiful world to navigate. Featuring a town, castle, mountains, coves and even a volcano there is a lot to “ooh” and “ah” about from high above. Strangely though, Wu-Hu Island is completely vacant of human life. That’s right, aside from the helpful travel guide; you are totally alone as you fly about an undisturbed world. There’s a level where you follow a car around, so wouldn’t it make sense that there would be more cars running about on the ground? The whole experience of soaring above a living breathing world and thinking “they look like ants from here!” is lost.
Mission mode offers three challenges for each of the trio of main modes of flight. Generally you have to navigate through a course of checkpoints, collecting extra points, and striving for three star ratings iOS gamers are so used to these days. Free Flight mode is exactly what you would expect, of course.
These missions are fairly simple to complete and usually I found myself clearing most of them with all three stars. Less than two hours in I already found myself half way through the gold levels, so I wouldn’t say this is a full-length game by any means.
The 3D feature for this game does a good job of making the scenery really pop and provides a good judgment of distance. Wu-Hu Island is very colorful and has a lot to look at, but don’t expect a truly interactive world. While the music is catchy, ambient, and laid back, it gets tiring after a short amount of time. The flight physics are solid for all intents and purposes and many will master the controls once they pass the silver levels.
Pilot Wings Resort is a fun and lighthearted flight sim, it’s a good example of 3D to show off to new players and makes for a nice casual romp. It leaves much to be desired in the way of content but it’s worth a try if only to earn your wings.