Get ready for a high stakes battle across enemy skies with Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight on the Nintendo Switch. This new action game from 7Levels is a fantastic dogfight experience featuring over 30 historically accurate planes, realistic combat simulation, and much more. There aren’t many games on the Switch that fall into this genre, so if you’re looking for a good and competent shooter, this one could fit the bill. Don’t expect too much in the bells and whistles department though.
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight offers three initial campaigns, based on three different nations: Great Britain, the USSR and Germany. Once the player chooses a nation to represent, there are a few training missions prior to the start of the main game. The campaign is comprised of various missions that gradually increase in difficulty. They can become challenging, but remain enjoyable throughout.
Although based on a mobile game, Warplanes looks rather good on the Switch. The planes look like their real life counterparts and the environments sell the locations well. Whether it’s a few missions in the arctic, or a few over the ocean, the view is always worth taking in. The enemies look distinct enough from your own plane to provide additional realism. While this isn’t anywhere near the quality of a AAA effort like Ace Combat 7 on competing platforms, this game costs way less and is fit for duty.
Musically, I was a bit disappointed. While I enjoy the beat and the intensity of the music, there just isn’t much variation. The sound effects are good and highlight the intensity of the battles quite well. Superb voice acting and narrative drive the action of the game, but it’s the dogfight sequences themselves that truly shine.
The play control is intuitive overall. While playing as a fighter plane, Warplanes makes excellent use of the “ZL” and “ZR” buttons (the former locking on targets, the latter firing upon them) and the plane’s point-of-view can be switched by pressing the Y button. It’s a bit odd though because instead of zooming inside the cockpit like other games usually do, the camera instead moves in front of the plane so you can see what’s behind you. This is very often not that useful of a view and a strange design decision. Bomber planes have slightly different controls (the A button activates bombing mode) for battle, but are just as much of a blast to control.
Your warplane’s movement is fast, responsive and easily maneuvered into the various combat situations it will encounter. The left analog stick moves the plane, the right controls the speed. The controls aren’t quite like a flight simulator and overall it has more of an arcade-like experience to it.
The player can collect silver, gold, fuel, and medals during the game. These items are used to maintain your base of operations, make additions to the plane, and so on. It’s great if you’re the type of player who enjoys a bit of world-building with their shooters. Personally, I prefer to just hop in my plane and blast the enemies to oblivion, but I can certainly see the appeal of such things. Honestly, I found this section more tedious than fun. It reminded me a bit of the some SNES shooters like Axelay and U.N. Squadron with this system—not my favorite aspects of those titles, either.
Warplanes is a good value and should provide ample replay value—when you’re done playing as Great Britain, you can play as Germany or the USSR—and the missions are varied with plenty of lasting challenge and appeal. You often get what you pay for, and this is very much the case here. You won’t be wowed by anything this game offers, but it’s a good time for $10.
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight Review
Final Thoughts: GOOD
Shooter fans should find plenty to like with Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight. The game doesn’t really offer anything revolutionary, but if you’re looking for a quick fix to knock some planes out of the sky this one should do the trick.
Based in Colorado, David Buck is an author, musician, and media specialist. In his spare time, he composes music, writes science fiction, and builds scale models, mostly starships and movie cars.