Air Twister – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade
Developer: Ys Net, Yu Suzuki
Publisher: Ys Net, ININ
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Air Twister – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Enjoyable gameplay, Trippy visuals
Bad: Atrocious user interface, Minor bugs
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Air Twister already saw the light back in 2022 on iOS and was created by the somewhat legendary game designer Yu Suzuki. The game was rather impressive for a mobile title, but sadly, it didn’t reach the biggest audience due to its limited release scope. Now, however, the arcade-like Space Harrier-inspired Air Twister is making its way to all major platforms and we were quite stoked to finally play a real modern arcade title. Even though we struggled a lot with the horrendous UI, Air Twister proved to be an action-packed delight.


While Air Twister does technically have a Story Mode, there isn’t really a coherent narrative to play through. The game starts off with a cinematic where a floating city in the sky is torched and tumbles down to the earth. A few moments later, you’ll be playing with an unnamed protagonist, who is seemingly attacking so-called alien invaders, where she uses odd-looking flying beasts to help her fend off the evil foes. There’s a small snippet at the end of the game if you beat the Story Mode, but that’s basically it. As this is pretty much an arcade title, there is no need for a meaty narrative.


Graphically Air Twister looks both retro and modern. The game has a lot of typical retro elements, such as the overall level design, and some of the weapon effects, but it also looks modern enough thanks to its polished character and enemy designs. While the game didn’t push our PlayStation 5 to its limits, the trippy visuals and original stage designs did not fail to impress. The game could perhaps best be described as a fever dream, but a rather interesting and amusing one.

The only thing that did manage to break the immersion was the cheap-looking UI. The UI clearly looks as if it came from the original mobile game version, and we feel an overhaul should have been considered before releasing Air Twister on consoles. Things sadly got even worse when we had to work with the UI, but more on that later in the review.


Dutch band Valensia created the soundtrack for Air Twister and the Queen-like tracks were quite fitting for the fantasy shooter. While there is only limited track variety, the tracks remain interesting and fun throughout different runs. The sound effects also provide decent audio feedback for the onscreen action, even though some effects may sound a bit generic.


Air Twister is an on-rail arcade shooter. The game is very reminiscent of old-school titles such as Space Harrier, which Yu Suzuki also helped design. In Air Twister, you’ll have quite a few modes to choose from, but the meatiest one is arguably the Story Mode in which you’ll earn stars to buy new upgrades for your character. The levels you’ll play through are rather short, and depending on which mode you end up choosing, losing your HP will result in a game over. This means you’ll have to start from scratch, either hoping to beat the Story Mode or if you wish to beat your personal high score.

In the Story Mode, you’ll be collecting stars while trying to battle your way through all the game’s levels. The more stars you collect, the more upgrades and cosmetics you can purchase after your run. The game has quite a few passive upgrades that will make subsequent runs a lot easier, such as more starting HP, other weapons, a time slowdown ability, and so on. Most gear options are cosmetic, except for the weapons and the trinket you can equip. The Story Mode itself consists of the same levels you’ll find in the Arcade Mode, but it’s basically the only Mode that gives you true progression in terms of collecting stars. All modes in the game, except for a bonus challenge that also awards stars, will mainly award you with fun distractions from the Story Mode or they provide you with the chance to set personal High Scores.

Even though not every mode feels very substantial, there’s a lot of fun content to explore, and it’s quite interesting to see how bulky this game was for a title that was originally released on mobile platforms. There are obviously a few modes that were clearly designed for mobile devices, such as a challenge mode where you need to tap numbered blocks in direct sequence with one another. While a fun distraction, this did feel a bit out of place. Even so, there’s a lot of challenging content to plow through, and the game has quite a bit of replay value. You can also complete daily, weekly, and time-limited challenges where the game will reward you with cosmetics for completing them.

The game’s controls are very responsive, and the lock-on system works great. In Air Twister, you’ll lock onto targets by simply moving your character in front of them. The more upgrades you get, the more targets you can lock onto, and in turn, the more enemies you can kill with a single shot. This system works great for the fast-paced gameplay on offer, especially during later levels of the Story Mode or a lot of the game’s optional challenges.

As mentioned above, we struggled with the game’s UI. Not only does the UI look extremely cheap, it’s also horrendous to work with. It’s clear that Air Twister debuted on smartphones, as the UI seems to be catered towards touchscreen controls rather than controller input. We found certain actions to be unresponsive, navigation proved to be tedious and clunky, equipping new gear for our character was often not registered correctly, and so on. A total revamp of the menu should have been considered before releasing this title on consoles.


Outside of probably the worst UI we have worked with in years, Air Twister is one of the best modern arcade titles currently out there. While the nonsensical story will not win over that many players, the fast-paced gameplay, the progression system, the many different modes, the original soundtrack, and the trippy visuals probably will. If you’re looking for a blast from the past, albeit with modern gameplay mechanics, Air Twister is probably going to rock your world.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Air Twister - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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