By Joe Skrebels
I’m of the mind that the 1994’s Windjammers is a perfect game. I also think it’s gaming’s greatest made-up sport, an absurd kind of frisbee-battle-tennis, decked in Global Hypercolor and built with fighting game nous. The original is the epitome of ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ design, a constant rush of lightning-fast rallies, clutch saves and big, stupid effects. It begs the question – how do you make a sequel to that? The answer, at least according to developer DotEmu, is to tweak, not overhaul.
You might be forgiven for thinking the French dev had gone for the latter option – Windjammers 2 drops the original’s pixel art in favour of a ‘90s cartoon aesthetic, inspired by the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s a big change, and not one I was entirely enthralled with at first. There’s a reason ‘pixel-perfect’ is a gaming cliche, and it’s because games like Windjammers exemplified the idea that you could play better by learning the game at a micro level – where an opponent’s finger is pointing, whether you can place a power lob outside of their reach by the merest dots on an old CRT.