Released alongside Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64 was always destined to be merely known as the other launch title for the N64.
While it may not have been as revolutionary as Mario’s first 3D adventure, Pilotwings 64 nevertheless did a great job of showing off the N64’s power and unique features. Developed by Paradigm Simulation, one of Nintendo’s Dream Team development partners, it was the only other game ready for the N64’s North American launch in September 1996.
The game is an amateur flight simulator; it makes full use of the N64’s analog joystick to provide accurate and responsive control, but it doesn’t overload you with complex or ultra-realistic features. To progress in the game, you must complete a series of missions using a number of different aircraft. Pilotwings 64 isn’t a very long game, but its intricate scoring system definitely encourages you to play a mission multiple times.
Pilotwings 64’s missions are set across four vast islands. These locations look pretty basic compared to environments found in modern video games, but the size and detail of these in-game islands was incredibly impressive for the time.
Pilotwings 64 holds the honour of being the last game in the series to be released on a home console. Over 1 million copies were sold worldwide.