Twist Pilot

Twist Pilot is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Twist Pilot Review

Twist Pilot is a unique take on puzzle gaming. You take control of a propeller named Phil, who has apparently listened to a little too much of The Byrds, as he is constantly turn, turn, turning. And it is that constant rotation which provides the challenge of navigating the myriad mazes which comprise the game.

Many of the levels are made up of tunnels which are too narrow for Phil to fit through at certain angles, and so the player must wait until the right moment to maneuver him through. Touching the sides bumps him and reduce his life, though if he can get away from any nearby walls, enemies, or other obstacles, his life will regenerate on its own.

There are additional power-ups to be found along the way, such as health regeneration, an item which makes Phil’s circumference considerably smaller, and one which makes him spin slower.. However, in a twist(!), most of the power-ups placed there by the developers seem to be more of a hindrance than an asset, lengthening Phil’s circumference or making him turn faster.

“What a tweest!”

When these come up, they sometimes appear together and directly in your path with no way to avoid them. It seems like a way to add some challenge to a game which is admittedly rather easy for the most part, but you can wait out the effects, even though that also affects your score for time. Plus, there are points where picking up the power-ups isn’t required, though why anyone would do so voluntarily (save to add some extra challenge) is anyone’s guess. Altogether, it becomes a little confusing what the designers’ intent for these items is.

In addition to time, another scoring factor is collecting all of the Sonic-esque rings scattered about the stages. The amount varies, and it’s kind of an all-or-nothing proposition, which is worsened slightly by the fact that you’re only told how many rings you have and how many there are total when you either pick up a ring or complete the stage. So if you’re at the end and haven’t been paying attention to the disappearing counter in the corner, you might come up short.

The Red Green Show.

There isn’t too much variety from one stage to the next, though some stages occasionally feature moving blocks and enemy spiders. More interesting is when the spiders employ tools such as fans or magnets to affect your course. Better still are the stages which require keys to progress, which we found among the more engaging aspects of the game; sadly, they don’t appear too often.

Twist Pilot is a fun game and pretty easy, too, though some players might have some trouble with it– specifically, those with unsteady hands/fingers. The only way to move Phil is by dragging your finger on the screen, and it’s very precise– perhaps even too precise, as a slight bit of movement would have us running into the walls. With that in mind, it’s difficult to imagine playing this in a car, bus, or subway and not crashing into everything.

If that isn’t a concern and you aren’t looking for anything too difficult, then give Twist Pilot a try.