3.0 out of 5


  • Arcade adventure
  • Upgrade tree map
  • Equipment choices


  • Soundtrack
  • Replay value dips
  • User interface
  • No online leaderboards

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, iOS
ININ Games
Ys Net
Action, Adventure, Arcade
File Size (Minimum)
3.1 GB
Release Date (NA)
Jun 22, 2022

Air Twister is a rail-shooter that feels like an arcade game from Sega’s glory days in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The ride is fun at first, but it loses its luster over time.

Classics Combined

Air Twister - Screenshot

Ex-Sega employee, Yu Suzuki, who helped create popular titles such as Space Harrier, the Virtual Fighter series, and Shenmue, started his own company called YS Net. He released Shenmue III and rail-shooter Air Twister as the first games from YS Net. The latter came out on Apple Arcade in 2022 as a timed exclusive. About a year later, the game launched on home consoles and PC.

Air Twister feels like a combination of Space Harrier and Panzer Dragoon, which were released on Sega home consoles. Like Space Harrier, Air Twister’s levels are out of the ordinary with bizarre objects like floating mushrooms and giant bone dragon-like creatures. You’ll control a female fighter through each stage as she carries a single weapon in-hand to take out flying enemies.

In rail-shooter games, the game automatically moves and you only need to worry about maneuvering your character around to dodge and shoot enemies. Some games vary how you view the character while playing. In Air Twister, your fighter floats in front of you, similar to Space Harrier. As enemies come into screen view, your task is to lock onto the target by maneuvering in front of them and to shoot your projectiles to take them out. It sounds easy enough, but expect things to pick up when more enemies come at you beginning in stage four. Each time you take out a flock of enemies, you’re rewarded with a star. These stars are used for the tree map, which will be explained further in this review.

There are twelve stages to complete, each with their own environment and bosses. The game also tries to mix it up by having your player ride on a giant flying creature like a swan. It doesn’t enhance anything; it just makes it visually different. Many of these bosses have similar attack patterns. For example, after taking out the first batch of targets on the giant monster, they’ll start throwing diagonal slashes to try to take you out or shoot a giant laser towards you. Getting hit will take out a good portion of health. After completing a level, you’ll have a chance to regain or earn more hearts. This depends on your score that’s tallied at the end.

More Ways to Play

Air Twister - Screenshot

The game offers a wide variety of options to play. There are several game modes, such as playing the game in various challenges from easy to hard as well as a one-hit death mode. There’s also a Boss Rush and additional stages to earn more stars. However, in some challenge modes, you only play for the top score such as the Tap Breaker mode where you shoot spinning number blocks in order under a time limit. It’s not posted on an online board, though. It’s just for yourself to view.

Outside the modes is a tree map where players can spend their stars to unlock a variety of boosts and equipment. New weapons also reside here, and they are quite powerful to use in the Arcade mode. You can also increase your hearts or get new suits and hair styles. This is where players will want to come back to try and unlock everything. The game also offers additional rewards depending on how many times you play and your achievements while playing. However, this feels more like a chore. For example, there are daily rewards to give you stars, Fluffy tickets (a mode where you ride a flying elephant to gather more stars), and more. The Fluffy mode plays differently than the main game. For one thing, it’s a side-scrolling adventure. Beyond that, dodging flying enemies feels much more difficult and controlling your flying elephant feels too loose. Fluffy isn’t exactly fluffy.

Lack of Palette

Air Twister - Screenshot

Air Twister has a replay issue. While each stage has a variety of environments, once you play the game through the Arcade mode once, it’s hard to go back and play the other modes since they don’t feel as fulfilling to beat again. If anything, you’re replaying to earn more stars for the tree map and to try out the new weapons a few times.

The graphics also look a bit dated. Lighting and details on characters and environments are somewhat lacking and bland. Honestly, it’s as if the game came from the PlayStation 3 era. It’s not bad, but it certainly could have used more touch-ups before landing on consoles and PC. Fortunately, it isn’t as noticeable when playing on smaller iOS devices.

There are cutscenes of a war breaking out, aliens taking over your planet, and hence why you go out and fend them off. Really, it’s just an excuse to put you in another Space Harrier-like shooter. That said, if you really care about the story, more details are available by unlocking them through the tree map. The fact you can ride a giant swan or a flying chameleon-like creature makes the game more bizarre but entertaining. Too bad it’s only during boss fights.

The user interface feels like it wasn’t adjusted enough when going from mobile to consoles/PC. Buttons, menu items, and fonts just look too big. When selecting an award, you have to hit the select button/key twice to accept the prize. Scrolling through equipment shouldn’t require users to click on each piece to view. Instead the game should automatically load a preview of the equipment when moving through the list. Once you like the item, then use the select button/key to equip the item.

The soundtrack consists of tracks recorded by a Dutch composer named Valensia. It appears that Yu Suzuki enjoys his work. The style of music played is reminiscent of popular bands like Queen, and the result is like watching a rock opera movie version of Space Harrier, which is cool in concept. However, while some tracks are okay, a whole album of a dedicated band lacks variety in this game environment and ends up being too much of the same.

The Final Twist

Air Twister is a fun adventure to go through once, but fending off an alien invasion more than that feels more like a chore. At least you can ride a giant swan for a short time.

A PlayStation 5 code provided for this review and gameplay footage.

Air Twister - Gameplay Footage (PS5)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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