Windjammers 2 arrived on Thursday with a whole lot of anticipation. The original Windjammers is a cult classic arcade game that saw resurgence through emulators and ports, with many people enjoying the intense air hockey-like play style. The original got so popular at one point that it had a short run at major esports tournaments like EVO.
Of course, before even diving into whether it lives up to the standard set by the original, we first need to figure out if this is a game that is worth playing. Here’s what we think.
What is Windjammers 2?
Windjammers 2 is, at its most basic level, the most intense game of air hockey ever. Of course, there’s way more depth to it with special moves, character stats, and level variety, but the goal for most players is to take a flying disc and either stick it in the goal of your opponent or drop it to their side of the field. This concept is maxed out to an extreme in Windjammers 2 with a style that makes every match feel as intense as a winner take all contest with your best friend at the arcade. Every shot, reaction, and super move feels important, and even the slightest mistake can lead to not only the loss of volley, but an entire set.
What makes Windjammers 2 different from a round of air hockey is how points are scored. The goal is to reach 15 before the opponent in each set. However, the way points are scored varies from map to map. Some maps will reward the player with three points for hitting a disc into the corner of the goal, five for landing in the middle, or two for successfully hitting a drop shot. Another map may reward five points for hitting the corners and three for landing in the middle. Some maps feature obstacles like bumpers for bounce shots, while another will hand out scores based on the type of flying disc in play. The variety keeps maps fresh and makes characters feel stronger based on specific maps.
Why You Should Play Windjammers 2
- Intense multiplayer action
- Unique characters
- Fun gameplay
Windjammers 2 is fun. It takes no time at all to get addicted and the arcade mode is going to put up quite a challenge. We recommend that’s where new players start, but eventually, you will need to move into multiplayer, because that’s where this game truly shines. Taking a friend down to the final set with minutes-long volleys is incredibly satisfying … unless you lose, because with how invested you’ll get, you’re going to be heartbroken. Anyone that wants to put their skills to the test can also try out the online mode, but be wary, because some of the online players have already mastered this game.
Why You Should Not Play Windjammers 2
- Not very deep
- Multiplayer dependent
- Skill gap
The downside to a game like this is how dependent it is on its multiplayer mode. Windjammers 2 is at its best with friends or in an online matchup. This leaves single-player options fairly unsatisfying, with only an arcade mode to tackle. The full experience for someone who isn’t playing with a friend can only be achieved via online multiplayer, and that skill gap can be really frustrating. It’s never fun to get annihilated by someone online, and eventually, that is going to be filled with the best of the best while whittling out the casuals. Obviously, the solution to this is to “get good,” but that doesn’t change that it has the chance of driving away more casual players.
Windjammers 2 a great game for parties or small tournaments. We tried it on the Switch and found it worth it at its $20 price tag, but if you pat for Game Pass, you and your friends can download it from there.
A code for the Nintendo Switch version of Windjammers 2 was provided to us for review purposes.