Game Reviews

‘Windjammers’ Review: Tossin’ The Disc

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Quick Take: If you have a good group of friends who enjoy retro games, Windjammers is fantastic! Once everyone in my group of friends figured out how to play, it got competitive fast. This is the best way to play Windjammers, with friends in a classic “winner plays next up” scenario. With some good music, a few drinks, and friends, Windjammers makes for a great time!

Windjammers was originally released, by the now defunct developer Data East, for the Neo Geo game system and arcade back in 1994. An odd game that I would describe as the love child of Street Fighter 2 and air hockey, I missed out on Windjammers back when it originally released. Since then I had heard about it from friends who collect classic games and was excited when I found out developer DotEmu was bringing it back for PS4 and Vita.  

What seems to be a very basic premise turns out to be an insanely fun game with a surprising amount of strategy and hidden complexity. I mean, it’s really just Pong with special moves, but Windjammers is so much fun, it takes the premise and goes totally 1990’s x-treme with it. Radical!

With some minor additions, like online play and some visual options, Windjammers is basically the same game as the original from 23 years ago. Players pick from a selection of six different characters with different special powers or “throws”. A disc is thrown back and forth on a court in an overhead view. If a player misses and the disc hits the goal zone at the end of the court, the other player gets points depending on what part of the zone. Speed will increase as the back and forth continues and players can use their special throws or other attacks to change up the speed and direction.

A match in Windjammers consists of three 30 second sets. The set is won by the player who the most points at the end of time or reaches 12 points. 3 points are scored for yellow zone and 5 for the pink zone. These zones will vary depending on the court being played on. First player to win two sets is the winner of the match!

Graphics are what you would expect in 1994, as nothing was updated. Music for Windjammers is repetitive and so full of 90’s funkyness I could only stand it for a few minutes before turning on something else. Not a big deal, as the greatness of Windjammers lies in the gameplay. While online play is available, I found it very difficult to find anyone to actually play with. Because of that I can only recommend Windjammers if you have some friends to play with in local couch mode.

If you have a good group of friends who enjoy retro games, Windjammers is fantastic! Once everyone in my group of friends figured out how to play, it got competitive fast. This is the best way to play Windjammers, with friends in a classic “winner plays next up” scenario. With some good music, a few drinks, and friends, Windjammers makes for a great time!

Windjammers is available now on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita via the same purchase with cross buy. This review is based on a PS4 copy provided by the publisher.

SCORE: 3.5 out of 5

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