Windjammers is an arcade sports game from 1994, later re-published for new generation consoles. The game itself is easy to play and follows the principles of the old school game “Pong”, adding some extra flavor to it.
The core of the game is quite simple. You play either against AI or against another player a game that resembles a lot of tennis. But it is played with frisbees. Surprisingly, this recipe works well.
The target is to win 2 sets that are played up till 12 points. There are 2 different areas in the goal line to score: 3 points areas and a smaller 5 points area. These areas vary in size and positioning depending on the map you are playing with. This is one of the great elements in the game.
Every character has some advantages for different kind of maps.
There are multiple different kinds of maps in the game, which give you a lot of options on your playing style. A more aggressive playing style might suite some maps better, while with the others you should play more passively.
You can choose from 6 different characters, all with their own strengths. Every character also has a unique special throw. These special throws are not exactly well balanced and some of the characters’ throws are almost impossible to save. Luckily the special throws are rare.
The basics of the game are easy to learn, but there is a lot to learn if you want to be good at it. You can spend hours mastering your throws and playing techniques.
Beating AI is surprisingly hard.
If you play against AI, there is a simple arcade game mode, where you choose a character and the goal is to beat all the rest of the characters one by one. Even on medium difficulty this is surprisingly hard, so nothing is given for free. In addition to the arcade mode you can play 2 different kinds of mini-games: Bowling and throwing a frisbee for a dog to fetch. These mini-games do not really bring anything new for your gaming experience and they get boring very quickly.
The best part of the game is no doubt the versus game mode, which will bring hours and hours of great playing game experience. You can either play on the same console locally or try your skills against people online. Sadly, the player base is rather small, and you might find yourself out of luck trying to find even a single match online.
Loosing hurts and that is one of the elements that gets you hooked on Windjammers.
Playing against your friends throws you in to an endless loop of “one-more-game”. The game does not get boring quickly, even though it is simple. There is so much to learn and many options when you are trying to beat your friend.
It is a shame, that not so many people are aware of this game. With a larger player base, this game could be a big hit. There is much more content than at a first glance you might think.
Publisher: Data East
Developer: Data East/DotEmu (PS4, PSV, Switch)
Platforms: Neo Geo MVS, PS4, PSV, Switch
Release date: 17.2.1994