Until the Last Plane (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

There are plenty of classic 2-D shooters set in World War II, like 1942, 1943, and the Strikers series.  But they all focus on the action and heroics of the pilots.  But what about the people behind the scenes?  Mechanics who repair the planes, the folks who order more ammo and supplies, etc.?  Well now you can see their side of things with Until the Last Plane.  Manage your own air field and send out pilots on missions, repair downed planes, and order more parts, fuel, and ammo in this simulation game.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

The game has a tutorial mission as well as three areas set in the USA, the U.S.S.R., and Germany, with three campaigns each.  Each day in the campaigns you’ll usually have to complete at least one mission.  To do this, you’ll first send out a recon plane.  The view switches from an overhead perspective of the field to the plane flying in 2D space.  You must fly forward and press the button to take pictures of fleets and bases below, and then return after you take enough photos or run out of fuel.  After that you can do missions.

The missions range from bombing targets or shooting down planes.  When you send out planes, you’ll play another mini-game where you line up horizontal or vertical axis to bomb targets, or select maneuvers to try not to get shot down or shoot down opponents.  It would’ve been cool if they let you play a more action-based shooter stage.  Completed missions will earn you money and skill points, which you can use to make your missions easier.  When you’re not playing mini-games during missions, you are managing your air field.

Planes will land when they need repairs, so you’ll press a button to send out mechanics to inspect the problems and fix them under your command.  You’ll also need to order more parts, fuel, and ammo when needed, but they take time to ship so you’ll have to plan accordingly.  You can also view your pilots’ stats, so make sure not to send out pilots who are too tired or stressed.  You can also recruit new soldiers as well.  While this all sounds pretty complicated, it’s really not once you get the hang of things, and isn’t much more involved than a casual game like Diner Dash.

The game does have some problems, though.  The tutorial mode explains the basics, but other gameplay aspects they just drop you in with the campaigns.  And while there are button cues for some of the actions, others don’t have them so it took me a little while to figure out how to take pictures or send out mechanics.  This type of game seems better suited for mouse or touch screen controls anyway.  Saving in this game also is a bit confusing.  After every day they show a floppy disk icon, but when I stopped mid-campaign, I had to start over when I came back.  Some sim game fans may find this game too simple, but that’s one thing I liked about it.  I’m not a big fan of sim games myself, but the premise of this one had me intrigued enough to review it, and I like the 16-bit style that looks like something I would’ve rented back in the SNES days.

Kid Factor:

Until the Last Plane is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Mild Language and Mild Violence. When you miss a target or get hit, sometimes your pilot will shout out “Damn it!”  Planes get shot down and bases get bombed in 16-bit style, but you don’t see anyone getting killed and those planes miraculously land back at base after being shot.  I’m surprised this game didn’t get a Sexual Themes descriptor, too.  Between each day, sometimes events will pop up that’ll give you a choice, and some may affect your pilots’ morale and such.  One of the events has a group of women offering to spend the night with your soldiers.  If you say no, the soldiers’ morale goes up a bit, knowing you might’ve prevented them from getting any diseases.  Because of stuff like this and the high level of reading skill required, I’d say this one is best for older players only.

2 Responses to “Until the Last Plane (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)”

  1. Oh, I am interested in this!

  2. Still interested. Put it on my wish list on Xbox.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!