Saturday, June 4, 2022

Air Twister: New Shooting Game from Yu Suzuki Releasing 24th June, 2022

Yu Suzuki and YS Net are back with the imminent release of a 3D shooting game called Air Twister, which is scheduled for release on 24th June for Apple Arcade.

A spiritual connection with Yu Suzuki's own 1980s arcade hit, Space Harrier, can be felt in the trailer and promotional screenshots, with the player flying through a fantastical world, shooting at swarms of attacking enemies.

At times, she rides on the back of a giant swam, evocative of gameplay from Sega's Panzer Dragoon franchise.

Alien enemies revealed in the trailer include those shaped as giant toadstools and the Moai statues of Easter island (both of which resemble objects that appeared in Space Harrier), flying dragon-like skeletons and spiky metallic orbs.

Giant toadstools also featured in Space Harrier

Game Features

The game's official listing gives the following information:
  • 12 beautiful, artfully crafted stages
  • Over 20 different creatures of the Vanguard
  • 10 unique bosses await your challenge at the end of the worlds
  • ‍Collect Stars to power up your Princess and unlock new game modes
  • Simple touch controls make play fun and easy. Or connect a gamepad for an arcade-like experience.
  • Compete in score and ranking categories with players all around the world

Background Story

The simple premise is that aliens are invading the planet on which Princess Arch lives, and she must wage war on them to save her world and the native giant swans the live there.

The trailer starts with an introduction showing a number of floating rock islands, on which ornate buildings and bridges have been built, exploding in flames as they are attacked by a group of mysterious spacecraft. Giant swans, on the back of which ride armed humans (or human-like figures), attempt to repel the invasion but are overwhelmed and are forced to flee. As they attempt to do so, one of the swans is struck by enemy fire and Princess Arch comforts the dying creature.

As the enemy craft leave, Princess Arch stares after them.


As listed above in the description of the game's features, the game is designed for touch control operation with actions such as locking onto multiple enemies by swiping over them. However controller play is also supported.


The soundtrack for the game is of particular note, and the short clips heard in the trailer sound superb. A total of 19 original, full-length tracks have been composed especially for the game by Valensia, a Dutch artist who enjoys great popularity in Japan. The music and vocals are strongly reminiscent of Queen with an eclectic mix of rock, pop and operatic flair.


Comments from Yu Suzuki

Yu Suzuki stated many years ago at the time of release of the original Space Harrier, that the 1984 movie The NeverEnding Story was a strong inspiration: "It was a sci-fi game with fantasy elements because I liked the movie The NeverEending Story." This same influence can be felt in Air Twister, with the riders on the back of the swans in much the same way as Atreyu rides on Falkor the luckdragon in the movie.

While announcement of the game may feel sudden, on reflection Yu Suzuki has dropped hints. In December 2020, he was asked to give a keyword for the year, to which he replied "Shooting / RPG". And last year, he stated "I hope to have something to announce in 2022".

Interestingly, GameSpot reports that Yu Suzuki does not see the new game as a spiritual successor to Space Harrier; he expressed that it has a much different feel thanks to the availability of new technology enabling him to realize his "ideal fantasy shooting game", something that was not possible at the time of Space Harrier.

New YS Net Homepage

Along with the release announcement, a new professional-looking webpage for YS Net has been quietly launched.

On the page is the following quote from Yu Suzuki:

"Our job is to turn mathematics into emotion. Even a banana peel becomes art when magnified 5000 times. Those who chase two rabbits do not get any rabbits. First, chase a hundred rabbits!"

Here he makes a reference to a Japanese proverb that reads "Nito o oumono wa itto o mo ezu" (One who chases after 2 rabbits will not even catch one). The meaning is that if you try to do two things at once, you will fail at both. Suzuki has his own take on this by advising that one should, on the contrary, take on numerous challenges in order to strike success.


Air Twister will be available for the Apple Arcade subscription service, which costs around USD$4.99/month. It will run on the following Apple devices: iPhone (iOS 13+), iPad (iPadOS 13+), Mac (macOS 12+) and Apple TV (tvOS 13+).

Details of exactly how developers are paid for having their games appear on Apple Arcade are not disclosed online, however it is generally agreed that Apple pays the development studio upfront.

Regarding other platforms, according to an article on The Verge, games published to Apple Arcade are not required to be exclusive to the platform. They are not allowed to be released on other mobile platforms or subscription services, but otherwise developers are free to support Arcade and sell their games on console or PC.

The game can be downloaded from the App Store from 24th June with an Apple Arcade subscription. 
  • Note: a free one month's trial is available for Apple Arcade, so you may wish to take advantage of this if you have one a supported Apple device.
While Shenmue fans remain as eager as ever for an announcement of a further Shenmue game, it is positive to see YS Net earning revenue, and also pleasing to know that Yu Suzuki has been able to achieve a long-held goal of realizing the fantasy shooting game he had truly been aiming to make.

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  1. "Shooting / RPG" - Thought back then would be an rpg with shooting elements (or vice versa). - Does that mean there are actually two games cooking? One shooting game (Air Twister), and another unannounced RPG? - Didn't Yu Suzuk said back in 2014 that he wanted to make a sci fi open world RPG?

    1. Yu's answer of "Shooting / RPG" left things open to interpretation, and since we haven't seen an RPG aspect yet, it may well point to another game being in the works. I don't recall the exact quote you mentioned, so if you find the link I'd be interested to revisit that!

    2. Sure! Titled: "Yu Suzuki Interview with Strana Igr". Here's the link:

    3. Ah, thanks. Here's a quote of the part you mentioned. I agree that it does sound to be a different concept to Air Twister.

      "Actually, I'm making what I want right now. I took all the best that was in Shenmue, all that “know-how”, dropped everything that I didn't like and was not interesting for me, and I'm making a new project. It will be a fantasy. Not China and not Japan, but a new fantasy world.

      Here, I've already drawn characters for the game. I've drawn them myself. There are the protagonists, there is the sea, and there is a mountain and on the very top of it is a castle. It stands so high, to be able to see far away and watch for pirate ships that could attack the city. I like an artist Alphonse Mucha, and I decided to work in his style. Usually, designers are making all the illustrations for me, but this time I decided to draw them myself. This game already has a script, even the music."

  2. Looks fun but too bad it's Apple exclusive. i hope yu suzuki decides to release it for pc in the future