Peanuts characters and aerial dogfighting. It seems like an obvious and punny combination, right? Well, Snoopy Flying Ace, an Xbox Live Arcade game that is all about chaotic multiplayer and shooting down the Red Baron, puts it to the test.
Here’s the official game description:
“You can’t have aerial dogfighting without the dog! Join Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang in the premier online flight shooter on Xbox LIVE Arcade, Snoopy Flying Ace. With simple flight controls and a hangar full of customizable planes and weapons, all you need are nerves of steel to climb the Leaderboards and become a Flying Ace! Snoopy Flying Ace takes addictive, fast-paced airborne combat to new heights, with fantastic solo and co-op challenges testing your skills against the Flying Circus of the dreaded Red Baron. Remember, it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight… it’s the size of the fight in the dog!”
The trail demo offers up a bunch of missions to play, as well as some online multiplayer. The first few are more or less tutorials: learning how to fly your plane, learning how to speed up and make sharp turns, learning the different weapons you have at your disposal, and learning how to hop to the ground to operate anti-aircraft gunnery. Then, after that, you’ll have your first big fight against Lucy and a swarm of goons as you’re set to protect a location with all you got.
I have to say, and I was really surprised here, but the controls are fantastically sharp. You use the left analog stick to steer and direct, and the right analog stick is for flipping upside-down or rolling left/right to avoid getting shot. It handles like a dream, which is a simile I’ve never really understood, but I will just say it simpler then: it handles really well. You’ll be swooping this way and that, firing off rockets and bullets, switching tactics on the fly (more puns!), and you won’t really get dizzy or ever feel out of control.
Plus, you’re doing all of this with Peanuts characters. I can’t stress that enough. They are adorable as they blow each other to smithereens. Take that, General Lucy! Pew pew pew!
I basically only did the single-player missions, as the online multiplayer kept kicking me out. I’m sure that’s fun, too, and probably the true selling point of Snoopy Flying Ace. For 800 Microsoft Bucks, it’s a solid entry. At least give the trial demo a try.