Snoopy Flying Ace Multiplayer
The missions are a varied and somewhat surreal bunch – one sees you having to defend a Snoopy-shaped Sphinx from Lucy’s Germanic hordes; in another you need to take down a Zeppelin that works like a classic boss from R-Type
, invulnerable only for a few seconds. In others you’re able to switch between your plane and more powerful but fixed position ground guns.
Curse you, Red Baron!
You’re also free to change your plane and its weapon loadout for each mission, which is a good job, because Snoopy Flying Ace
is tough. Unlike some Xbox games which give you achievements for simply completing missions or levels, the only easy one to bag in Snoopy Flying Ace
is ‘Cadet’, which you get for taking part in your first online deathmatch. It’s worth a staggering five points. If you want anything more, you’ll need to climb the ranking tables online or complete the singleplayer missions by hitting ambitious time and damage targets. There’s not much in the way of story though, and really the singleplayer is all about allowing you to unlock kit and practise, practise, practise before taking on multiplayer.
The game features plenty of different planes and weapons
In multiplayer the game is fast-paced, and tries to strike a balance between enjoyable chaos and allowing enough room for skill to make a difference. It mostly succeeds - the learning curve isn't too steep - but it can get a little repetitive over time. While the ten maps are fairly varied, with a few bridges and tight spots to buzz through, multiplayer combat in the open air is never quite as entertaining as an FPS in a busy, varied urban environment.
Switching from Dog Fight (a free for all deathmatch) to Team Dog Fight dials down the chaos a little and makes for some tense pitched battles as your side tries to reach the kill target first. There are other modes too, including an approximation of American football. Some of the maps feature some fun power-ups, too, and there are new maps available to buy as DLC.
You might think that this is really just an arcade aerial combat game with Snoopy graphics, but there’s plenty here for Snoopy fans. ‘Flying ace’ is one of his alter-egos from the comics, and there are two bonuses in multiplayer that would even bring a smile to Charlie Brown’s face. Kill four people in a row and Woodstock appears as your tail-gunners; boost that to nine in a row and your plane transforms into Snoopy’s doghouse, with powerful machineguns. I have got this from the developer though, as I haven’t actually managed to kill nine people in a row…
Snoopy Flying Ace
is a real surprise; it’s not a particularly deep game, and we have some concerns over its longevity. That said, in the downtime between big game releases it’s well worth picking up. Well made and keen to exploit all the opportunities afforded by its concept, it’s visually charming yet with hard-hitting, exciting combat. If you remain to be convinced, at least try the substantial demo.