Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight Review

Warplanes WW2 Dogfight
Warplanes WW2 Dogfight

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight allows you to take to the skies and battle it out in iconic World War 2 planes.

With its easy pick-up-and-play controls, addictive gameplay, and engaging levelling up system, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight should fly right to your Nintendo Switch collection. Developer Home Net Games has created an enthralling playing experience – even if the final destination feels pretty uncertain.

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight boasts an impressive array of over 30 historical planes from the World War 2 era. British, German and USSR-style fighters are available, with the planes you’re able to fly determined when you choose which of the three nations you wish to represent. The game gives the impression that your selection will lead to some key differences, but a lack of story makes each feel fairly repetitive, which is a shame.

Despite being based during WW2, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight doesn’t feature much in the way of historical accuracy, apart from the planes. It feels like a real missed opportunity to feature some iconic battles; just imagine having to protect London during the Blitz. Instead, the combat levels are divided into four categories: offence, defence, naval, and special. Each category has specific missions within it, like bombing ships or defending the base, but they play in a similar manner.

Apart from the rewards on offer for each level, there’s not too much incentive to complete each mission, especially when some are optional. My main issue with Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is longevity; after only playing for a few hours, you’ll have experienced everything. There’s no story and no purpose to unlocking new rewards. When you do manage to get a new plane, or upgrade an existing one, the battles become easier – but that’s really the only incentive.

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight isn’t a game that involves a story, or even a sense of progression that will keep you on the edge of your cockpit seat. But, for only £8.99/$9.99 it’s really not that type of game: it’s a fun game to sink a few hours into when you have time, and it does that superbly.

What will keep you coming back again and again is how addictive and fluid the combat is. The controls are incredibly simple, with a lock on button, fire button, and an optional rocket/bomb button for some planes. Sadly, there’s no motion control, which would have been a fun addition, but the controls are accessible and easy to master.

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight isn’t a particularly difficult or challenging game – but it’s that simple pick-up-and-play nature that makes it so enjoyable. Flying through the air and taking out enemies is addictive, and the main reason I kept on returning to different levels. Overheating ensures that you have to time your shots right, and makes chasing down enemy planes that much more thrilling.

Sadly, the actual flying gameplay feels a little lacklustre. Each plane has a short boost option, but that’s really it for aerial tricks [cue Chris Griffin exclaiming “that’s it?” in Blue Harvest when Peter’s big trick is just moving the Millennium Falcon a bit to the side]. There’s no loop or roll button. In fact, it’s impossible to do any of those tricks – you’re always flying at a ‘normal’ angle. It’s a shame, and does take away from the flying experience, but but the excellent combat makes up for it.

Another motive to keep on playing Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is the pretty advanced upgrade system. So much within the game can be upgraded, from bases, to planes, and even pilots. Each level completed provides a certain amount of resources – gold, silver, oil, and medals. Those resources can be spent on upgrades, and can even be converted to other resources. It’s a really deep and well thought out system.

Upgrading bases doesn’t really have any notable impact apart from allowing you to be able to store more planes and hire more pilots. It can also mean that more planes can be repaired at once, in-between levels. Trading medals allows for upgrades on how many resources can be rewarded for certain levels, and can come in handy when collecting certain types.

The real highlight of Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight‘s customisation comes with upgrading pilots and planes. You can hire pilots, and then train them to improve on their shooting skills, accuracy, and bombing skills. It’s possible to take newbies and turn them into war heroes. Hiring more pilots means you can splash the cash on new planes, and upgrading those gives a very noticeable difference to how they handle, and how powerful they are.

Going into battle can be absolutely thrilling when you have a whole squadron of pilots and planes you’ve put the effort into upgrading. During battles you can give specific responsibilities to different planes (to focus on bombing ships, for example) and can even switch between planes during the fight to use to the best plane for the task at hand. It’s such a brilliant experience, but it’s a real shame that this isn’t enhanced by adding multiplayer options.

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is a real gem, and for its cheap price it offers a bite just as big as its bark. Combat is exhilarating and highly addictive, and upgrading is simple yet impactful. Sadly, it does feel like it’s missing a story element, or a real reason to want to progress within the game, but the silky smooth controls and combat will get you jumping back into the cockpit in no time at all. With historical planes galore, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is an easy pick-up-and-play game that’s hard to put down.

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is available on Nintendo Switch.