First impressions of this Flying Soldiers review for the PS4 was Valiant. I haven’t seen the CG film, but know of it; the connection here is a squadron of birds on a military exercise of sorts.
A bit of a weird setup, but after about two missions, I was hooked and making my best French horn impression (it’s played each time you deploy your troops).
Flying Soldiers PS4 Review
Watching the cinematic intros were unique and reminded me of the Worms series, albeit it without the humour. It is worth mentioning that Flying Soldiers missed out on a lot of comedy potential, and despite its premise, it comes across as a little serious in places.
What is that premise? Hatching your eggs and getting the contents to the finish line. Fortunately, those contents are yolk but cute lil’ birdies, donning a military helmet and eager for battle.
Well, they don’t go into battle as such, more of a devious assault course of collecting medals, saving your squad and applying a bit of brainpower to how it all pans out.
At a glance, while the scenes and birds are well modelled, they’re a little uninspiring, as is the music. The latter feels quite monotonous with a military flavour that gets old quick.
Relatively small on screen, it’s hard to identify with the birds as they waddle in lanes to reach the goal. Don’t overthink that comment ‘identify with the birds’. However, after losing one in a poof of feathers, you feel bad for them and vow to see them through.
Your role in Flying Soldiers is to place a selection of devices to help them complete their mission. This ranges from simple barriers to redirect them into another lane, or trampolines to launch over a gap or row of spikes.
Options are limited per round, so you have to use what’s available and not place everything willy-nilly – where’s the strategy in that!? Placing them onto the maps brings up a simple tile system over three lanes. If you can build on it, the space will light up.
Hop, Spin And A Jump
With the opening levels, it all felt relatively easy, but has a learning curve, because after that you’ll have to redo a few levels if you want to earn the full 3-star potential for the stage. It gets challenging in places.
There’s usually only one solution for each stage, except for a couple of minor adjustments to placement. It’s not as limiting as it sounds and mostly intuitive. Before long, you realise you can combine items. Well, not necessarily combine, but place them directly next to each other for differing results.
There are 45 levels in Flying Soldiers, and they could be completed in one sitting if you’re engaged enough. Repeating one after the other was enjoyable but did require a break. There’s not much else on offer though, other than additional cutscenes as you progress.
Fly, Fly Like The Wind
Considering we’re dealing with birds, it’s quite amusing how pathetic these guys are. You’d be better off with an ostrich as they’re swifter. But that adds to the appeal as you watch them helplessly flutter their wings before the imminent impalement on some spikes.
If that’s your kink, don’t get excited: Flying Soldiers isn’t Happy Tree Friends. Though your birds will explode in a confetti of feathers, and is funny, on a sinister level, it’s relatively family safe if your kids can differentiate that this isn’t real.
That said, my youngest could only watch me play as the controls were too difficult for her. For bigger kids, i.e. grown-ups, the puzzle elements in Flying Soldiers aren’t that challenging. That’s not a negative criticism. While it’s far from a chill game, it’s more on the relaxing, fun side than launching your controller because it doesn’t make sense.
Flying Soldiers PS4 Review
Flying Soldiers doesn’t lure you in from its presentation and features, but good old fashioned gameplay. It might not be for those seeking a hardcore puzzle game, but if you’re open to try something new that is pretty addictive and increase your love for the French horn (or is it bugle?), look out for it on PS4, Switch and Steam.