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Opinions on Wing War?


AlexKIDD
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Wing War is one of those games that was probably ahead of it's time. It looks GREAT and it's strange mix of Joust and a platform game offers some unique gameplay. Unfortunately it's probably a bit too complex for it's own good. Having to pick of all the different crystals, the limited number of fireballs you get, and I feel like you're always fighting the controls to kill an enemy makes it one of those games that I never spent the time to try to master. IMO, it scores high points for me in the "look and creativity" category, but falls very short in being fun.

 

Maybe you should try playing on an emulator before buying? Also, if you're buying it CIB, it does actually have some decent box art, too.

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It kind of plays like Joust but has multiple screens that form a "world" or map. You press the action button to fire a flameball to kill monsters and the other button to flap and fly around. Controls are a little sluggish and your dragon gets hurt when it bumps into things.

 

You basically fly around collecting things like eggs (extra lives) and crystals. The eggs need to be carried back to your "lair" and often fall when you collide with a wall or monster. Same goes with crystals or anything thats carried. "Boss" like enemies show up over time and at the end you make it to this tunnel that leads to a room with one final prize.

 

The dragon is rather fragile and with stiff/sluggish controls you'll probably die a lot early on. (Mainly by crashing into things like monsters or whatever).

 

When I first bought it I felt I that it wasn't that good but I remember liking it the more I played it and the more I got used to controlling the kamikaze dragon.

 

Its pretty cool, it felt like one of the earliest games where you actually beat some type of goal and the game just ends. There isn't really a final boss its just this stationary "troll" that spits balls at you before you get to the end.

 

Its really advanced for its time, especially the graphics. Sadly the sounds are mostly bleeps and bloops and of course the controls hinder it (at least initially).

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Wing War is a game you play to pass the time, like playing a game of Solitaire or Bejeweled. Once you've mastered the controls and learned where the dangerous areas are in the game world, you can just fly around and take your time to collect colored crystals to bring back to your lair. There's no real timer in effect, you just need to avoid damage and stay alive, so you can just relax and enjoy the quest at your own pace. I spent lots of hours on this game when I was a kid. :)

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Wing War was a game I never got the hang of...and still haven't. But the descriptions above make me want to go play it again. Haven't touched the thing probably since the 80s.

There's a learning curve you need to address before you can enjoy the game. Mastering the controls of your white dragon so that he doesn't keep bumping into things should be your primary objective at first (otherwise you'll keep dropping the crystals you're carrying in your claws) and then you must figure out the best approach for defeating each type of enemy in the game.

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Wing War is one of the featured games in my book, Vintage Game Consoles (the ColecoVision chapter, naturally; page 133). I don't recall specifically what I wrote there at the moment, but each system chapter only had 10 "special" games called out per platform-specific chapter (i.e., not just a passing mention in the larger history), so obviously I think rather highly of what was a relatively ambitious title for the era. Naturally, the game would have benefited greatly from smooth scrolling rather than the then more standard flip-/flick-screen technique, and the controls are rather fiddly, e.g., it's rather too easy to "lose control" and send your dragon flying at insane speeds between screens, but overall it's well worth a play. It's a shame some of the other versions never officially made it out (Intellivision, TI-99/4a, etc.), as it may very well have helped the game's reputation. As it is, it's one of those games, like Destructor, that's extraordinarily polarizing. You either get it or you don't, and either love it or hate it.


For those having difficulty understanding the game, perhaps the summarized instructions I wrote for the ColecoVision Flashback may help (this was obviously one of the games that was difficult to compress down to only two paragraphs):


Wing War (1 PLAYER)

Take control of a dragon trying to gather and combine Fire, Air, and Water crystal elements to reach the Diamond Treasure. Hunt and destroy enemies to score points and create valuable crystals. Gather Fire, Air, and Water crystals to gain more power and defensive strength, making sure to keep the Fire and Water crystals apart. Create Super Crystals by gathering all three elements, then make a daring raid through the secret passage to capture the sparkling diamond. Find and bring back dragon eggs to gain extra lives.


Press the right side button to flap your dragon’s wings and gain altitude. The dragon descends when you don’t flap its wings, but you can move the joystick down to descend faster. Move the joystick left or right to set the dragon’s direction. Press the left side button to shoot fireballs. Move the joystick up while the dragon’s feet touch a crystal or egg to pick one up. The dragon releases crystals and eggs automatically when it returns to its den.

Edited by Bill Loguidice
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There's a learning curve you need to address before you can enjoy the game. Mastering the controls of your white dragon so that he doesn't keep bumping into things should be your primary objective at first (otherwise you'll keep dropping the crystals you're carrying in your claws) and then you must figure out the best approach for defeating each type of enemy in the game.

I played this lots when it came out, and a bunch recently on both emulation and real hardware. I think the game would have been more fun if they had provided a mode or skill level where you don't drop the crystals so easily, I think it ruins the game for the average player.

Graphics wise, it was amazing to see the large world and the graphics design was fantastic.

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I don't think I ever knew you could pick up stuff or most of the other stuff that was described above. Back then I rarely read directions and just played games straight out of the box. That's probably why Wing War never caught on with me...I didn't know what I was doing.

 

There's a learning curve you need to address before you can enjoy the game. Mastering the controls of your white dragon so that he doesn't keep bumping into things should be your primary objective at first (otherwise you'll keep dropping the crystals you're carrying in your claws) and then you must figure out the best approach for defeating each type of enemy in the game.

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It looks good at first, and I admire the effort, but I don't have the patience to play it with (what I consider) signficant rough edges.

 

As it exists, it's a crap game with potential.

That was kinda my take on it as well.

The game looks gorgeous, and I don't mind the fact that you have to actually read a manual to play it.

 

The controls have a steep learning curve to them. That's my biggest complaint with it.

 

Fathom gets my vote over Wing War for "Best Adventure Game on the ColecoVision published by Imagic"

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The problem was that air crystals disappear when your dragon gets hit and leaves them fall.

Once you complete the first super crystal the hippogriff arrives and you cannot collect air crystals anymore as the nasty beast keeps hunting you till you die

 

My strategy was

a) collect 10 or 15 water crystals

b) collect an equal number of air crystals

c) collect fire crystals by killing monsters in the cave

Edited by artrag
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Thank you all for the information. After reading all you've had to say I'm pretty intrigued to grab a copy of this game and try it out for myself. Seems like I may have some fun with it if I get used to the wonky controls. I've hated a lot of games on the first try only to find that I enjoy them once I get the hang of it.

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