Once in a while it’s nice to take a break from mainstream gaming and just waste away the time playing something simple and addictive. No I’m talking about Angry Birds, but about a little gem called Who’s That Flying?!, affectionately dubbed as WTF.
WTF doesn’t have much of a story to it, which can be forgiven because the gameplay is what all the fuss is about. You play as the defender of Earth, who is on trial for allowing an alien swarm to invade Earth because you were too busy at a photo shoot. Yes, the humor can get quite slapstick and the puns are a-plenty when it comes down to the guardian of Uranus. As you plead your innocence on trial, you replay key missions set in various cities on Earth to prove your innocence to the galactic court. The gameplay is simple enough as a side-scrolling shooter can get; you fly up or down and shoot lasers out of your arm gun at swarms of black aliens known as Ravagers. The aliens glide and dance around the screen trying to get past you, and if you let too many of them past, then the level is over. Occasionally you’ll have larger enemies that shoot slime or electricity at you, but these are just tactics to distract you so more of the little Ravagers can slip by. As you battle your way through the level, you can build up a power meter at the bottom of the screen, which will allow you to activate Turbo Fire, Laser Beam, or Hyper Beam attacks which are great for when you’re overpowered with enemies. Occasionally you will be asked to hold down the Ctrl button and bash the spacebar to polish off larger enemies. The game has gamepad support which I personally preferred over using the keyboard.
While the story-mode is fairly short and told through six incredible quick cutscenes, the real value of the game lies in the two other modes: Challenge and Infinity. Challenge mode asks you to replay particular levels with the goal to not let a single enemy by or rack up a particular high score, while Infinity mode sees how long you can last against a never ending swarm of foes. Both modes earn you rewards and medals, and also come with an online Leaderboard that tracks your overall progress.
Graphically the game is colorful and runs smoothly, thought I was disappointed that the cutscenes were very pixilated and not as clean-cut as the rest of the game. The in-game audio is quite good, with each level accompanied by an appropriately themed soundtrack and plenty of alien-exploding action.
Who’s That Flying?! is a fun little game that is great for a quick distraction. Though the story mode is short, the various challenges and unlockable rewards adds to the game’s lifespan. And at a cheap asking price, what have you go to lose?