Pilotwings Resort. is a Nintendo 3DS flight simulation video game that takes place on Wuhu Island. Playing similarly to the Wii Sports Resort game Air Sports. The game features Miis. Three vehicles are able to be piloted: an airplane, a hanglider, and a rocket belt. The game is the sequel to Pilotwings 64.
Nintendo, the game's publisher, included Pilotwings Resort in their launch title lineup, one of only three games to be published by Nintendo. Monster Games, the team behind several Excite games on the Wii, developed the game.
In Pilotwings Resort, players fly over Wuhu Island, the location introduced in Wii Fit and made popular in Wii Sports Resort. Wii Sports Resort featured an airplane mode, and this game is an expansion on that mode. Pilotwings Resort features three main types of aerial vehicles including a plane, a hang glider and a rocket belt, each one controlling differently. As the player progresses they will unlock new vehicle types. There are two game modes available including Mission Mode and Free Flight Mode. In Mission Mode players are required to race against the time or try to acquire a certain amount of points, while in Free Flight Mode the player is allowed to fly at their own pace.
Before a mission is initiated the game will give minute details on how to acquire a 2-star rating. A higher ranking can be attained by completing the objectives and doing so in a swift pace, going through as many rings as possible, popping as many balloons as possible, landing adequately and more. Each mission is different, with some omitting time limits, rings and so fourth and including only certain features while others will combine several different aspects in order to make it more challenging. For example, one mission will have the user go through a set amount of rings and then have them land dead center on a platform in order to get a high score.
The game is one of the first titles for the 3DS to include Mii support. The Miis in the game are taken directly from the Mii Maker application that comes with every Nintendo 3DS. The Miis are the playable characters in the game and ride in the plane, hang glider and rocket belt. Some of the missions require that the player take pictures of the island (similar to a mode available in Pilotwings 64 for the Nintendo 64). These pictures can be saved onto the Nintendo 3DS. Pictures saved to the 3DS can be sent to friends around the world.
The following aircraft can be played in the game.
- Plane - A basic propeller plane.
- Rocket Belt - (another word for "jetpack") With slightly more complex controls than the Plane, the Rocket Belt offers a very high level of precision when flying.
- Hang Glider - Is not self-propelled, but rather, gains altitude using using upward blasts of air called thermals. Allows the player to take pictures during flight.
- Turbo Jet - Unlocked by completing the third plane mission in the Silver Rank, the Turbo Jet is much faster than the Plane, but more difficult to maneuver.
- Super Rocket Belt - Unlocked by completing the third rocket belt mission in the Platinum Rank, the Super Rocket Belt is more powerful than the Rocket Belt, but more difficult to maneuver.
- Pedal Glider - Unlocked by completing the third hang glider mission in the Gold Rank, the Pedal Glider is a modified version of the the Hang Glider that allows the player to accelerate by pedaling, which drains their stamina (though the stamina does regenerate), but is heavier than the Hang Glider.
- Flying Squirrel Suit - Used in only one mission, this allows the player to "fall with style."
During GDC 2011 in San Francisco, California, producer Kensuke Tanabe revealed that Monster Games, the developers behind Excite Truck, ExciteBots: Trick Racing, and Excitebike: World Rally (all on the Wii), was the team behind Pilotwings Resort. Pilotwings Resort takes place on Wuhu Island, introduced in Wii Fit and later fleshed out in Wii Sports Resort. Pilotwing Resort's Wuhu Island is almost identical to the one featured in Wii Sports Resort (the recurrence of the word "Resort" in Pilotwings is perhaps influenced by this fact).
Pilotwings Resort has received mixed reviews by critics. It receives a metascore of 71/100 on Metacritic based on 64 critic reviews. Most reviewers have praised the fun to be had from the game, as well as the controls and 3D graphics. A major complaint however, was that the main game was too short, lasting only around 2 (give or take) hours to complete all of the missions. GoNintendo.com, who rewarded the game with an 8 out of 10, said while this complaint is a viable one, it will take much longer to master each mission. The reviewer argued that the fun in Pilotwings Resort isn't just completing each mission successfully, but getting a perfect score on each one.