Developer: Nintendo EAD
NA Release date: August 13, 1991
Genre: Flight simulator
Media: 4-megabit cartridge
When Pilotwings was originally shown by Nintendo in 1988 it was called Dragonfly and involved controlling a shooting dragonfly. It was then changed and was one of the three games that launched with Super Nintendo in America. Originally released in 1990, it is a flight simulator style game where the player is assigned a series of different lessons and tasks involving plane flight, a rocket belt, hang gliding, and skydiving. There are also bonus games awarded when landing on certain platforms.
Graphically the game is strong because it takes advantage of Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 chip. Mode 7 allows the game to look three-dimensional through rotation, scaling and other effects. In the game there are a number of training areas each with a number of tasks that must be completed within a certain time. When completed, a score will be given for the players performance. If the score is high enough then the next area will open up to the player. Also, the player is assigned a guide who will give the player tips on what they’re doing wrong and how to improve.
The Plane has always been my favorite vehicle because the controls are very accurate. In the plane, the player will fly through rings that light up if done properly. The player also take-offs and lands the plane in certain missions. In the rocket belt missions, the player must propel through circular areas and land in a target area. This vehicle has an overhead perspective making it a little more difficult to control. Hang gliding is the most difficult task. The player must glide to a designated location and try to land directly in a designated area in the lowest amount of time possible. In skydiving, the player falls from a plane and must fall through designated circular areas. When an altitude of 1,000 yards or under is hit then the player must deploy the parachute and land in a designated area.
The formula in Pilotwings is a bit repetitive for the different games but it still works well. It is recommended as a fun game if you are into flight-simulator action. Graphically the game is very strong for its time and is still fun to look at today. Definitely one of the best flight-simulator games for the 16-bit era of video game consoles.
Passcodes for the levels of the game
985206: Area 2
394391: Area 3
520771: Area 4
108048: First helicopter mission
400718: Area 5
773224: Area 6
165411: Area 7
760357: Area 8
882943: Second helicopter mission