If you dig a little bit, you'll notice there are hundreds of indie anime-inspired video games, in all genres, releasing every month. Some are better than others, but it's hard to ignore how generic and cheap most of them look. This time, we want to talk about a game that does lots of things right but still felt a little unsatisfying, not because of its quality but because it's too short to be enjoyed. If you like mecha games, stay with us and let's talk about Wing of Darkness!
I Just Wanted to Clean and Cook
Yes, Wing of Darkness is a mecha combat game where you control giant robot weapons and shoot missiles to everything that moves, but it's also a visual novel. Remember, it's an anime game. Another animesque element is Wing of Darkness's plot, mashing up almost every cliche in the mecha genre to create something that's not unique in any way but still gives you an excuse to keep playing.
It all started when Klara Ernst, a teenage girl, enlisted in the military to help her family financially. Klara never wanted to be a soldier, so she applied to the cooking and cleaning crew. In an unexpected turn of events, she was accepted, but instead of doing housework, she ended up fighting dangerous creatures known as Blankers who are invading planet Earth. Turns out, Klara meets all the qualities of a "Fraulein," girls who are the only ones capable of piloting these mecha units. At least she gets a better salary, right?
Friends and Rivals
It wouldn't be a mecha anime story without a rival, so enter Erika Loerzer, probably the most beautiful and talented girl in the Federal Air Force's Abendflugel unit. For some reason, she doesn't like the idea of Klara joining the Frauleins, so there's a lot of friction. These girls may not get along, but they still have one thing in common: they will do everything at hand to destroy the Blankers and to help their new "family," so when in battle, there's no time for rivalries.
The story revolves around Erika and Klara's relationship, so Wing of Darkness is more than a mecha fighter where you're constantly doing missions. The problem is that Wing of Darkness is only a couple of hours long, so things felt a little bit rushed once we got to the ending sequence.
Game Over Already?
There's not enough time to enjoy the storytelling, but the game's length also hurts the gameplay. For an indie game, Wing of Darkness offers appealing mecha battles and decent graphics, but we wish we could enjoy more missions and customization options. It would make more sense to take Wings of Darkness as a short visual novel with aerial combat segments than to call it a mecha game, really.
Wing of Darkness is not even close to being the best indie title in its genre, yet it proves that the people behind it could come up with a very competent game if they have enough time and resources. The problem is, 29.99 US dollars sounds like too much for a flawed 2-hour long game.
If you're okay with spending money on a game like Wing of Darkness, you can find it on PC, PS4 and Switch. The story is quite generic, the combat feels repetitive, but it still has some potential to it. We know there's a niche audience for this kind of game!