Air Twister Wild Arcade Shooter: Legendary Designer Yu Suzuki Returns

A lot is going on in Air Twister. The arcade-style shooter from legendary creator Yu Suzuki is out today on Apple Arcade. It pushes players through a strange fiction world of armored birds, floating cities, flying squids, skeletal dragons, and evil clocks.

Suzuki, best known for his work at Sega on games like Space Harrier, Shenmue, and Virtua Fighter, was a chance to create a fantasy universe full of specialties he loved. “It’s an amalgamation of all the extra things that I would like to witness in a fantasy world,” he says.

Air Twister is a definitive rail shooter consider Space Harrier or Panzer Dragoon where players take on the part of a sci-fi princess fighting to maintain her home world. It has 12 stages, which are pretty short but filled with opponents and punctuated by massive boss battles. It handles like a long-lost Dreamcast game, but with the recent addition of touch controls, you can accentuate swarms of enemies with your fingertips to release off a volley of attacks. It’s very satisfying.

The gameplay is solid, but the most smashing thing about Air Twister is its bizarre world. You start soaring across a vast ocean with massive mushrooms growing out of it before moving on to stages. It has a barren moon, a stark mechanical lair, a large garden full of impossibly enormous roses and topiary creatures, and a desert full of harmful flying manta rays.

Suzuki explains worldbuilding as a “collage” of ideas, citing consequences like the artist Michael Parkes and the film The Never-Ending Story. “At first, it appears like they may not serve together, and as I was putting these components together, I wasn’t intentionally thinking about how they would fit together in this world,” he defines. “For me, they just naturally fit.” He says that part of making this work focused on “the texture and the density and the color” of the landscapes and opponents when rendering the visuals. “I enjoyed everything to feel as if it was 100 years,” he explains.

The music was approached similarly. Air Twister features a soundtrack of prog rock from Dutch composer Valencia; Suzuki says that he’s been a long-time fanatic of the musician and even “wanted to have the planet fit his music.” But Suzuki had no connections to assist him in getting in contact. So he resorted to a spontaneous Facebook message and it worked. “Once he got a feel for the world we were trying to create, he was totally on board,” Suzuki says of Valencia.

Aside from the touch commands, Air Twister does make a few concessions for modern players. In its primary mode, you can accumulate stars, which can then be used to unlock new items, ranging from cosmetic upgrades like new hairstyles or outfits to genuinely helpful gear like a protective guard that kicks in when your health gets low. Air Twister can get pretty hard, so this structure is developed to help less-skilled players make it to the end.

That said, the game still has a more classic arcade mode with varying degrees of difficulty. But, just like if you were shoving quarters into an arcade cabinet in the ’80s, here you only have your skill to rely on which is how Suzuki initially envisioned the experience. “I enjoyed making this like an old-school arcade game,” he says.

Apple Arcade is a video play subscription service proposed by Apple Inc. It is available through a reliable tab of the App Store on devices running tvOS 13, iPadOS 13, macOS Catalina, and iOS 13 or later. The service was established on September 19, 2019.

One appeal is that it delivers uninterrupted, unintrusive occasions by excluding what many see as staples of widespread, primarily free-to-play, mobile games like advertisements and in-app purchases.

All contents on the service are free of advertisements, in-app buys, data tracking processes, and Always-on DRM, implying that games can be played offline without interruptions. In addition, subscribers can share entry with up to five others via family sharing, and the service can also be bought through the Apple One bundle. The standalone subscriptions and the Apple One bundle provide a free one-month trial and can be canceled anytime.

Games on the service feature blend with Game Center and iCloud, let games implement social features. For instance, it has achievements and leaderboards and carries data between devices linked to the same iCloud account. In addition to Apple’s products, many games are compatible with third-party controllers such as DualShock 4, DualSense, and Xbox Wireless Controller.

Apple Arcade was declared in March 2019 at an Apple Event showcasing its diverse upcoming services. It was founded on September 12, 2019, with 71 games, with Apple noting that the number would increase to over 100 by 2020. The apps reinforce a minimum of 14 languages and can be accessed in over 150 countries. Accentuated launch titles include What the Golf, Rayman Mini, Exit the Gungeon, Sayonara Wild Hearts, and Lego Brawls.

Noted publishers and developers partnered with Apple to create Arcade games, including Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Konami, and Annapurna Interactive. However, due to exclusivity deals, developers cannot release their Apple Arcade games on other mobile platforms but are permitted to offer their games on console or PC. In addition, Apple does not share game performance metrics with developers, only revealing whether the match has been taken onto the Apple Arcade platform.

Several categories within the platform have similar games based on their premise, genre, level of difficulty, and more. Some types include “adventure,” “puzzle,” and “education.” There is also a category named “daily play suggestions,” which suggests a curated preference of games founded on the consumer’s download and gameplay narrative.

In June 2020, Bloomberg notified that Apple ended its contract with some future Arcade titles and shifted its strategy to seek games with more robust engagement to retain subscribers. It was further stated that Apple invited former Arcade partners to return and develop titles that would fit Apple’s new strategy.

On April 2, 2021, Apple surprisingly released several new games and announced they would bring “Timeless Classics” and “App Store Greats” to the service. These are renditions of pre-existing popular contests already available on the App Store that have removed their in-app purchases and advertisements, noted by a “+” at the end of the application name. Amazing games added to the service include Fruit Ninja Classic+, Monument Valley+, and Threes!+. However, unlike titles created exclusively for Apple Arcade, these games are only available for iOS and iPadOS devices.