Just imagine the characters from Wacky Races all dogfighting with each other in odd flying machines and you've got a pretty good idea of what Wingnuts is all about.
The characters aren't actually from Wacky Races as that would mean they'd have to have been licensed to be used in the game, but with characters called Dicky Dastardly and Smutley, I think you get the picture. The flying machines they get to control are pretty much right out of Wacky Races though, all flappy wings and odd attachments.
Wingnuts is an arena-
Now this is an impressive part of the game. There are over 40 weapons to choose from here, although not all are available to all machines all of the time, and some of them are very impressive. The paint missile is a good example. Get an enemy in your sights, wait a couple of seconds for the cursor to change to a death's head to indicate that you've got a lock-on and then fire and forget the missile. If you get a hit then you can laugh at the other player who now has their screen plastered in red paint. Tee hee.
Unfortunately, it's not like some of the other missiles in that it doesn't do permanent damage. The best you can hope for is that the player will become so disorientated that they'll crash into the landscape and die.
If you get a hit then you can laugh at the other player who now has their screen covered in red paint. Tee hee.
Some of the other missiles are pretty devastating though, so evasive action must be taken once you hear the warning beeps telling you that someone else has got a lock on you. This is especially important when you're playing solo as the computer players are merciless. Even if you turn their intelligence down to 'none' you'll find they're quite a challenge.
And now onto Wingnuts' problems, starting with the mere annoyances to the completely wrong. First in the dock, m'lud, is the actual playing area itself. It's teeny-
The designers reckon you can use this tactically to avoid incoming missiles and the like, but frankly I think they're stretching it.
Secondly, the game's scanner. The device is located in the top left corner of the screen and is almost impossible tor ead. You can just about make out that there are some coloured dots ( the colours being the actual colours of the other players' machine) but there's little chance of being able to tell whether they're above or below you, even though that information is supposed to be indicated. Quite simply, it just doesn't work very well!
The flying machines they get to control are pretty much right out of Wacky Races though, all flappy wings
A major accomplice, your honour, is the frame update. Even running on my A1200 with an '060 board the graphics are jerky and far from smooth. This has the knock-on effect of making it very difficult to fly any of the planes with anything approaching skill. I shake my head.
Finally, and possible the biggest single factor responsible for this game appearing before you today m'lud, is the curious choice by the games designers to have the ground the same colour as the sky. Ok, so we're on some alien planet, but you try flying around in a dogfight when you don't know whether you're up, down or sideways.
Thankfully, it doesn't happen in every arena. Some of them are flooded so the ground appears blue, which at least lets you know which way is up, but should you find yourself in an arena that isn't then you're going to be in whole heap of trouble before you even start.
The designers have made some attempt to make thing a little less confusing by including great lumps of flat white colour that must surely represent clouds. You can't see through 'em so tactically you should be able to hide in 'em. Erm, no, not really. The chances are, as soon as you pass through one (blink and you'll miss it) you'll hit the edge of the arena and then be transported to a cloudless area.
I'm really getting fed up saying this about games of late: Wingnuts is not dreadful but it's just such a wasted opportunity. The ideas are mostly fine and the weapons are certainly good - unfortunately, most of them seem to have been aimed directly at the programmer's and designer's feet.