Pilot Sports Review

Pilot Sports is the new title recently released from Z-Software GmbH. The game features seven challenge types, fifty+ courses, and a variety of different aircraft. As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, one purchase allows you to play on both Xbox One and your PC.


Upon starting up the game players will have single player and local multiplayer modes to choose from. That’s about your lot, outside of your standard options/view credits choices. A further option becomes available through playing  the single player mode; this unlocks the Free Roam Exploration mode. I’m not sure what I did to unlock it though. It might be the number of medals I collected or it might be the number of sets I completed.  Anyhow, once you start up the single player mode you’ll be taken to the character select screen. Here you’ll have eight characters to choose from. This is strictly eye candy however. No character has any advantages over another and you only ever see the back of your characters head in game.

After choosing your character, you’ll have to choose which level set you want to play – though, if you’re just starting up for the first time ,you’ll only have the first set to choose from. You can play any of the levels in this initial set in whichever order you choose, or simply cycle through them. To unlock the next set you’ll have to collect a certain number of Gold medals. The challenges you’ll face in set two take it up a notch in terms of difficulty, but are still fairly easy to complete. I’d say at set four is where the difficulty really starts to climb. Over the course of the game you’ll fly a bi-plane which is a bit cumbersome, a light and fast seaplane which is fun to fly, yet gave me some trouble landing. You’ll also have to contend with a jet-pack which the controls took a few attempts to come to grips with. There is also a rocket-pack, which is basically a bigger version of the jet-pack, so you can guess what happens there. The two types of hang gliders you’ll fly are very different in terms of feel and finesse, but you’ll have to find out for yourself. Finally we have the skydiving levels. Personally, I would have loved to make my character jump from a plane to initiate this, but in this case you basically start in free-fall. 

Challenge types include Race the Clock, where you must navigate the course as quickly as possible, with missed gates adding penalty seconds.
Time Attack is similar to Race the Clock, but now you must collect as many points as possible. Flying through gates adds seconds to your remaining time. Naturally, the aim is to try to last as long as possible.
Collect-a-thon levels have you trying to collect all the packages as quickly as possible. How Far Can You Go challenges have you finding the perfect balance of speed and altitude to, well, see how far you can get across the stage. 

Platform Fun has you using a jet-pack to fly from platform to platform in the fastest time possible. This is probably the most difficult of challenges because it’s quite easy to overshoot the platform you are aiming for. Finally,
Free-fall has you navigating a course while dodging obstacles. A simple concept, sure, but this can be quite the challenge.

Let’s talk visual design. The game world looks like it could have been created in the ill fated Project Spark from the early days of the Xbox One. Vibrant colors really pop and while it may be a little cartoon-like it is still beautifully done. I personally wouldn’t have minded having a bit more to explore and discover. On the other hand, the audio is quite repetitive. I found myself resorting to listening to Pandora or Spotify soon enough instead. 


In terms of gameplay, the controls are easy to grasp, but not necessarily easy to master. My wife was having quite a time of it playing multiplayer with me and my daughter. Local multiplayer is definitely a welcome mode in this arcade style flyer, but the lack of online multiplayer seems like an oversight in this day and age. At the very least, online leader boards would have been a great addition. Otherwise, you’re only playing to beat your own times, which doesn’t have quite the same longevity to it.

Conclusion

My overall opinion is that Pilot Sports is a good bit of fun, but could have featured more. At $19.99, you’re still getting a decent deal here, but I’d happily pay that bit extra for more content (a larger world, online multiplayer and leader boards). Achievement hunters will likely lap up Pilot Sports, as just there are just 14 to round up for the full 1000G. Happy flying!

This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.
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Good
  • Nice, colorful visuals
  • Local Multiplayer is fun
  • A good few modes to play
Bad
  • Some of the controls are awkward to grasp
  • Audio is dull
  • Not much replayability if you're flying solo
6.5
Okay
Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 7.5
Audio - 4
Longevity - 6.5
Written by
Born in New Jersey across the Hudson from Manhattan, I've been playing games for over 30 years. I can confidently say that I've played at least one game on every console ever made. An accomplished Forza artist, I enjoy racing games, platformer/puzzlers, adventure/RPG's, sports titles, and arcade shooters, although I have been known to play some FPS's on occasion. JPep715 on Xbox and jpepek715 on Twitch, feel free to add or give me a follow.

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