Any regular readers of Geeky Hobbies will know that we are huge fans of cooperative video games. I generally enjoy most genres of video games, but it is hard to beat a good cooperative game. Released back in April today I am looking at Fly TOGETHER! the latest game by the developers of Conduct TOGETHER!. What intrigued me about Fly TOGETHER! was the simple concept of directing airplane traffic combined with a cooperative element where players had to work together in order to get the planes to their destinations quickly while avoiding crashes. Fly TOGETHER! is a simple and fun little cooperative game that makes controlling air traffic considerably more enjoyable than you would expect.
In Fly TOGETHER! you and a number of other players will be in charge of controlling various types of planes to transport passengers to their destination. Basically players will take control of a plane and will draw a path for the plane to follow. Players can either use motion controls to draw the paths or use analog sticks. Airplanes will be guided to airports where passengers will be dropped off and new passengers will be loaded. These new passengers will then need to be transported to the airport or other location that corresponds to their color. The players will be juggling multiple planes at the same time along with other obstacles that they have to avoid. When planes crash the players will temporarily lose the ability to use that plane and will also lose some time.
While you can play the game by yourself, the game is built around being a multiplayer game. Thus the game is broken up into two main modes. The main focus of the game is on the campaign. In the campaign you and the other players will try to work together in order to deliver as many passengers to their destination as possible before you run out of time. Each passenger you deliver will earn you coins which you can then use to purchase additional types of planes. You will also receive a star rating based on delivering a certain number of passengers. If you receive at least one star in a level you will unlock the next. When you complete an area you will then unlock any connected areas.
The other main mode is player battles. The objective of this mode is similar to the campaign as you are still trying to bring passengers to their destination. In this mode all of the players are out for themselves though. The player that delivers the most passengers will win. To make things more difficult, players are able to mess with each other by unleashing various obstacles on their competitors.
There were a couple of things that intrigued me when I first saw Fly TOGETHER!. First I have always been a sucker for a good cooperative game. While the gameplay in these type of games is usually kind of simple, the games are generally really enjoyable. On top of this while I don’t have a big interest in airplanes, I thought the idea of a game where you were in charge of directing planes to get them to their destination while also avoiding crashes sounded pretty interesting. For the most part I thought Fly TOGETHER! lived up to my expectations.
First of all the game does a good job being simple enough where it could appeal to people that don’t generally play a lot of games. Basically the controls involve pressing a button to select a plane and then you draw a path for the plane to follow to its destination which matches its color. That is pretty much all there is to the gameplay. The game gives players the choice of using an analog stick or motion controls. Because of the game’s simplicity it will likely appeal to a larger group of people than your typical “gamer” crowd. I could see the game working really well as a family game or even a party game.
The main reason Fly TOGETHER! succeeds though is the fact that the gameplay is just really fun. You don’t really even have to be a fan of the airplane theme to enjoy the game. The gameplay works because it is simple and yet challenging at the same time. Guiding the planes is easy and fun. The game then adds in a number of obstacles which makes it more challenging to get the planes to their destinations. The game requires teamwork as players need to work together in order to succeed. You won’t be able to handle all of the planes on your own, and the players need to work together or the planes could easily fly right into one another. The gameplay succeeds for the same reason that most cooperative games do. It is just really satisfying being able to successfully direct the planes well enough to get three stars. This is especially true when you are able to save two planes from crashing into one another at the last minute. Generally if you enjoy these type of cooperative games, I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy Fly TOGETHER! as well.
While the gameplay is quite fun, one thing that initially concerned me about Fly TOGETHER!’s gameplay is that I thought it would become a little repetitive after a while. I thought this because the gameplay is so simple, and how much could you really change it to keep things fresh. I will say that Fly TOGETHER! is the type of game that you will know whether you will like it quite early on. It isn’t a game that grows on you the more you play it as the gameplay never drastically changes. If you don’t like the gameplay right away, playing the game more likely won’t change your opinion. The opposite holds true as well though.
I do think the game does deserve some credit though as it does find some clever ways to keep the gameplay pretty fresh. You are still picking up passengers and guiding planes to their destination. The game adds elements like flying planes over drop zones so passengers can jump out to their destination. The game even includes levels where you get to play as Santa delivering presents. This doesn’t drastically change up the gameplay, but it does enough to keep it feeling fresh so the gameplay doesn’t drag along. Along with the new obstacles that the game throws at you, there is enough new things to deal with that the game doesn’t become too repetitive. I wouldn’t say that it is the type of game that I would play for hours at a time as it would become a little repetitive at that point. I do think the game would work really well as a game that you play for an hour or so at a time though.
On this front I was actually kind of surprised by the amount of content that the game has as well. I will admit that so far I have mostly stuck with the cooperative campaign as I have never been a huge fan of competitive battle modes. Even if you just consider the single player campaign, the game has quite a bit of content to play. I don’t have an exact number of levels, but the game appears to have around 21 different worlds with each having around three to five levels. The levels aren’t particularly long as the timer is usually only 1-2 minutes. If you are trying to three star all of the levels though, it will take a number of attempts to some of the levels. Then when you add in the battle mode, I think you will get your money’s worth out of the game if its premise intrigues you at all.
As for Fly TOGETHER!’s difficulty it kind of depends. First if you don’t really care about stars, it is pretty easy to score enough points in most levels to unlock the next level. If you are trying to earn three stars on all of the levels though, things get a little more complicated. The game’s difficulty curve is kind of all over the place. I would say that we were able to three star most of the levels within just a couple of attempts. There were actually quite a few levels that we were able to three star on our first attempt. Then there were a couple of levels that took a lot of attempts and some that I don’t know if we will ever be able to three star. It is kind of weird because one level can be really hard and then the next can be a breeze. The game doesn’t have a great difficulty ramp up as it seems kind of random which levels are hard and which are easy.
Along with this is the fact that the game can rely on quite a bit of luck at times. If you don’t care about the stars this doesn’t really matter as luck shouldn’t play a big enough role to stop you from earning enough points to unlock the next level. If you are trying to earn three stars though, luck can play a pretty big role at times. You will fail to three star some levels just because the randomized locations for the planes keep conflicting with one another. Basically you want planes to have different destinations so you can send them to airports without having to worry about them crashing. When you get a bunch of planes that need to go to the same airport though, you will waste time waiting to move the next plane to the airport as well as increase the odds of you crashing. The problem is that there is no way that this reliance on luck could have been avoided as the game wouldn’t have worked if the plane’s destinations weren’t randomized. This doesn’t ruin the game, but it can be a little frustrating at times when you keep failing to three star a level because luck isn’t on your side.
While on the topic of luck, I wanted to briefly bring up the game’s collision detection. This honestly might have been the most frustrating element of the game. Usually the collision detection is pretty good. When you crash a plane it is usually is your fault. There are occasionally times when the collision detection didn’t work as well as I would have liked though. This actually works in both directions. Sometimes it will look like two planes should of crashed and they don’t. The real problem occurs when it doesn’t look like your plane should of crashed and yet the game decides it did. This mostly happens with the landscape as it is sometimes hard to tell where you can and can’t fly. It can happen with planes at times as well though. It is kind of frustrating crashing one of your planes when you don’t think it should have, and that being the difference between getting two or three stars.
As a fan of cooperative games I was intrigued by Fly TOGETHER!. The concept of guiding planes to get them to their destination while avoiding crashes sounded like a fun premise for a cooperative game. For the most part the game works really well. The game is really simple to play as you just draw paths for the planes to follow making sure to avoid crashing the planes. The game’s simplicity makes it really easy to pick up and play which allows it to be a great family and party game. The gameplay is also really fun as it is satisfying and it does a good job forcing players to work together. The main gameplay doesn’t really change throughout the game, but it finds ways of adding little tweaks here and there to keep things interesting. I will say that the difficulty can be a little up and down though, and the game can rely on some luck at times. The collision detection could have used some work as well.
My recommendation for Fly TOGETHER! basically comes down to your thoughts on the premise. Do you generally like cooperative games and do you think the concept sounds interesting? If you answered no to either, Fly TOGETHER! may not be for you. If you answered yes to both though, I think you will really enjoy the game and should consider picking it up.
Buy Fly TOGETHER! online: Nintendo Switch
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Northplay for the review copy of Fly TOGETHER! used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.