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Armed with Wings

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Rating: 4/5 (158 votes)
Comments (50) | Views (10,555)

JoshArmed with WingsOne of the most aptly-named casual games ever, Armed with Wings, by Sun Studios, is an enjoyable platformer with some innovative twists. You play the role of a fallen hero, brought back to life from the "blackmist" in search of vengeance, armed with a katana and an eagle. That's right, an eagle. Designed to augment the typical start-to-finish run of platformers, you have control of an eagle that helps you reach your goal in a variety of ways. In most levels, that goal is simply to make it to the end flag by chopping your way through enemies and solving various environmental puzzles, like getting bridges to extend, distracting enemies and more.

You will want to run the tutorial stage your first time playing because there's a slight learning curve (mainly using the controls) to this game. The first thing you'll notice is the monochrome environment, reminiscent of the classic N. The levels are stylish enough to hold your attention without getting tiresome, especially when you consider that according to the story, you and your eagle are manifested in the "blackmist," an alternate reality of sorts. Controls take a bit of getting used to: move with the [arrow] keys, [Z] to attack, [X] to block, while the [A], [S] and [D] buttons control your eagle.

Armed with WingsThe sole aspect of this game that sets it apart from any other typical action/puzzle platform games is your pet eagle, which lets you to interact with both the environment and enemies in some fun and interesting ways. You release the eagle by pushing [A], allowing it to fly around under your control for a certain time before it's summoned back to you. Using [S] allows the eagle to pick up various items like rocks and keys; things that you need to advance through the level but can't reach yourself. [D] sets the eagle to an idle mode, returning control to the hero while the eagle stays in place. All of this adds up to a variety of uses such as distracting enemies while you slice-and-dice them from behind, scouting locations up ahead, picking up items you need to advance, and much more. In early stages, reaching the goal flag can be as simple as cutting your way through a few opponents. In later stages, you'll have to rely on your puzzle-solving skills, even when it comes to certain boss fights. The attacking mechanic is pretty fun; basic attack is a three-swipe sword combo. There's also an uppercut swipe that leaves enemies reeling, giving you some breathing room. Then there's the ultimate; a charged attack that can devastate enemies (as well as some objects in the environment).

Analysis: At its core, Armed with Wings is an action/puzzle platformer, and no amount of glitz and glamor is going to change that. But even if you're sick to death of platformers, this game offers something special: an innovative game mechanic with polish and style. Snazzy cut scenes before and after boss fights add some great eye candy, while an evenly-progressing difficulty system keeps you from throwing in the towel. Control would have been better if configurable (for fans of WASD movement), but it works. The ability to jump would also have been a nice addition, although many of puzzles rest solely on your inability to do so. Check out the built-in walkthrough on the menu screen if you get stuck and again, be sure to check out the tutorial stage in the "How to Play" section or you'll be flying blind.

Play Armed with Wings


I played this up to the

Minotaur boss

which I couldn't get past. It's an interesting game, but had some minor bugs; also the view tracking seemed awkward.


Reminds me somewhat of "8 Eyes", which was one of my favorites back in the day.


I finished it with some walkthrough help for that level, but thanks Josh.

It got better towards the end - and more thinking was required to solve some of the puzzles than I expected :)

Faeleia May 6, 2008 9:30 PM

Pity there's no save option at all =(

rahari May 6, 2008 9:49 PM

ugh. I can't even get past stage 5.


I really liked this one, mostly. The art style is fantastic and the eagle idea adds a fresh puzzle-solving aspect. However, the controls are a little slippery (for the hero, at least), always taking a few steps, even with one tap of the arrow.

Gammler May 7, 2008 12:14 AM

I played this the other day on NewGrounds and didn't care for it. It had a couple of nice concepts, but it lacked in some ways and had a few glitchy parts. First, the movement's a little off. In one section, you have to cross a thin ledge and have your eagle hit the switch, but pressing left or right once moves you almost right off the edge. Second, the eagle was hard to call back (there were times when the callback button was completely unresponsive, which doesn't help when an enemy is attacking you). Third, in your three-attack combo, the third attack has a long enough delay that the enemy can recover and attack you (this happened all too often with the Minotaur boss). Fourth, and I'm not sure if this was intentional, but when you're charging up your down+attack, gameplay slows down (while it may have been on purpose, it's a little annoying with the Minotaur boss). And finally, the delay your character faces after getting attacked is the death knell when you're surrounded (which you will be on the level immediately after the Minotaur boss) as enemies will hit you back and forth.

Also, for the Minotaur boss, this was the best strategy I was given:

When he's spinning his sword in a circle, block. You may get pushed around, but you should take little-to-no damage. When he stops, move away a little to avoid his first attack, then rush in and use your three-attack combo. Eventually, he'll get a counter above his head. During this time, charge up your down+attack until the counter is around 10-15. Three to four charged attacks should defeat him, although part of this is based off luck (second playthrough and he didn't stop swinging his sword until I was two steps from the spikes before I could use the charge-up move once).

And a quick tip: Never use your eagle for anything unless there are no enemies who can see you. You are completely vulnerable, and you cannot recall the eagle while being attacked. The eagle cannot attack enemies (sadly).

All in all, it's not a bad concept and could be made into a great game with some corrections and more fluidity. I'd certainly like to see a second or upgraded version.


This game isn't finished; it's too glichy. I replayed level six after dying once, and the door was already unlocked. It's also really annoying to slide so far after tapping left or right.


I've encountered a glitch. At least I sure hope it's a glitch. It's on level 6.

Level 6 consists of your character sending the bird through a tunnel high overhead, grabbing a key, and unlocking a door. Your character goes down a ramp, through the door, kills a bad guy and there's the flag. When I was about to reach the flag, a trap-door opened beneath me and sent me to a chamber with spikes along one wall and a hallway at the end of which everything fades to black. The only thing you can do is walk down the hallway and fall into blackness. When I went to restart the level, the buttons (Restart Level and Menu) drifted upward and would have gone offscreen if I didn't click them fast enough. Restarting the level brought me back to the beginning as the bird. The second I touched a button, everything went black again. It said I'd advanced to level 7. I had to refresh the page.


Tim, I had a similar problem. I dropped into the darkness and it looked like I was about to leave, but then it all went black again. I'd restart the level and it would just put me back in the darkness.
I can even hear my character walking and when I release my eagle I can see its flight meter, but everything else is black.

other than that one bug, I love this game.


I have had the same problem with Level 6, falling and then blackness after following the tunnel after the trapdoor opens. And reseting the level is no use, it comes up proper for a fraction of a second and then goes black again. So frustrating!

I'm using Firefox, could this in anyway be causing the problem?

Schmorgluck May 7, 2008 6:06 AM

Just finished the story mode. Interesting game, a fine variation on a classic genre, with very stylish visual.
The only real downer (beside it being too short) is really annoying, though: in a game involving combat, even more with combat and platforms, having no possibility to turn face without displacement is friggin' dumb. I don't understand why so many games are made this way. Were it not for that quirk, I'd have given it a 4, but it will be a 3 instead.

Deadl0ck May 7, 2008 6:51 AM

This game is still very very glitchy.... It has a nice artistic style, but it's a shame it's so glitchy.

What I also consider a shame is that there's no jump button. The game doesn't need it, I suppose, but it would be fun to be able to do a death from above kind of jump while an enemy is distracted by your bird.

What I also find annoying is that the character cannot take small steps. It's either full out run with sliding stop, or don't move. Just tapping the direction key sends you sliding for a while. Kind of annoying when you're trying to lure an enemy into a spike pit.

Sargjaeger May 7, 2008 8:28 AM

Why I wont play this game again:

- too many glitches

- unresponsive controls

- the minotaur boss: it wasnt to hard to figure out how to defeat him, but I didnt succeed ONCE in almost an hour. I tried it approx 30 times, and often got him to 380+ recovery-time. but then he simply would deny the third combo hit and eventually push me into the spikes. on several occasions he wouldnt even let me get the 3hitcombo ONCE, but always interupt it with this twirling attack. Sometimes it only took him 2 long twirly-tacks to push me into the spikes. and im doing everything as good as possible- blocking, not getting hit, trying to use the 3hit combo in different situations to find a weakspot, sometimes desperatley using the uppercut do mix things up after he countered the 3hitcombo for the 3rd time in a row...but nothing would help.
Seeing that it doesnt matter how well I play the boss, I dismiss this game as an inferior piece of software

- Z-Button...I will never understand why, of 100+ buttons to choose, some developers would insist on choosing the Z button in their games. But hey, maybe they simply dont know about different keyboard layouts. And please dont tell me how to change the layout, I know how to do that and did it for that game. but working at a big german ISP, I know the abilities of the common internet user, and they may just not be able to change it that quickly ( or they dont want to go to such length for a casual game )
Many devs actually are very considered and solve the problem by doublemapping the button to y and z, or giving you the option to map the buttons yourself ( WOW, sounds mysterious, right? )

Sargjaeger May 7, 2008 8:37 AM

after reading my very cynical post, I must add that the game looks great, and the eagle delivers an interesting addition to the gameplay.

I may give it another try one day, but if I see that twirling attack once more today, Ill eat my keyboard.


I was stuck on the minotaur as well. I also experienced the bug where you fall into blackness.
If you want to get back up to your level after a bug:

right-click and press play to go to the next level. Do this after exiting to the menu and restarting story mode.


How very frustrating - in the tutorial, the "S" button would not work and I could not even finish the tutorial!

Ezrabbit May 7, 2008 12:32 PM

Like Chris said, this one isn't complete.
Glitches, poor maneuverability, bad response times and a pet eagle that hogs the camera! I mean, if your Hero is moving while the eagle is idle, surely the camera should be on the Hero? It's nice to be able to see where you're going.

This is a great concept that needs more time in development.

Maybe the Sun Studios crew need to stop hanging out with the guys from Nitrome?

queen-of-diamonds May 7, 2008 3:28 PM

Nice concept but controls are too complicated, they kind of slow down the game.

BoneMan May 7, 2008 3:51 PM

"One of the most aptly-named casual games ever"!?!
Has the ground-breaking epic You Have To Burn The Rope been forgotten that quickly?!?


Fun at first but eventually you realize how broken the game really is. Without the boss-fights the game would be much better because it was mainly during said fights that the lackluster controls and environmental glitches really become a hinderance to your fun level.


Does the "black mist" remind anyone else of legend of zelda: twilight princess? twili people??


Yes, the concept and art was sound, but the execution was fairly wishy-washy. The fact that the controls are so slippery mean that you'll end up sliding into the person you wanted to keep at sword's length, causing them to hit you because you hadn't stopped to start your overdramatized sword swing.

If the camera zoomed out while the eagle's active (unless it has to go through a tunnel), that would work better for the player. That does sound tricky to implement, though.

Something else I found shocking was the fact that the player cannot jump. It's a basic staple of platformers, and even allowing a small jump with a push of the up arrow key would alleviate my worry of missing something, and not being able to go back due to an ankle-height bump in the terrain.

Superslash May 8, 2008 12:06 AM

A platformer with no jump, a camera worse than anything Sonic Adventure or Heroes ever did, leaps of faith, attacks when all leave you guaranteed to be hit by the enemy becuase of their lag, and bosses based entirely on getting lucky and randomly having a favorable attack cycle?

Sounds like a 0 out of 5 to me. Art is nice, concept is good, but without gameplay there is no GAME and therefore no score higher than a 1 at best can ever be fairly given.

Matt Weiner May 8, 2008 7:53 AM

I guess this is what Superslash is saying about the camera, but it seems weird that the screen stays focused on the bird when it's in idle mode -- you're moving the guy around, but he's offscreen so you can't see what's happening.


Danny- Of course, it doesn't help that the music on the main screen (with the pentagon) is from LoZ: Twilight Princess.

Anonymous May 9, 2008 6:37 PM

ya so after a couple of tries i finally beat the minotaur boss. i

just waited for him to stop spinning his sword rushed in hit him 3 times charge attack, that as hes roaring rushin and attack him again.

Anonymous May 9, 2008 6:39 PM

there are levels past minotaur boss also

Anonymous May 9, 2008 6:46 PM

lv. 7

has bunch of normal enemies with 1 really agile one. kill other enemeis then stand still and use upper cut on agile one as he gets closer, he dodges most of your other attacks and copies your charge attack


This looks good on paper. Unfortunately, the controls are impossible to use - they're unresponsive, and you can't just move a tiny bit, you have to go miles in one direction to adjust your position a tiny bit in the other by coming back at it for a split second longer.

I couldn't see things clearly because the shadows blended into one another, which meant that if I was standing on the middle platform in stage 3, it was hard to do much with the eagle.

This was also where I found a glitch - I pressed S to pick up the rock, which it did, then started flying, except that the eagle wasn't there, and I actually ran off that middle plinth and died.

The whole game is just way too frustrating, so I gave up.

Exorcist_V.S_Akuma May 12, 2008 3:36 PM

I played up to stage 8 where it has weights and platforms but i have no idea how to complete it, minotaur wasnt that bad just blocked when he spins and do combo then do special, repeat that and u got it


how do you get past the level in story mode where at the start theres a wonky wall which you cannot get past but our bird can?? plz help


The minotaur was easy, just wait till he's almost done recovering and ten bam! Hit him with a power attack. Do this about 4 times and you'll see yourself do a swicked combination on him and then he'll explode!

Anonymous June 7, 2008 12:36 PM

Camera tracking absolutely sucks as another poster pointed out. If you send your eagle off your character's screen, then tell it to wait, the camera stays on the eagle! I had to blindly do a lot of things because of this. Got to level 7 and got fed up.

Anonymous June 15, 2008 8:49 AM

woohoo^^ finished the game ^-^

the endboss is so easy.... i was disappointed, but it was fun^^

you just have to hit him with the combo and block a sec until HE did HIS combo, he will do a knockback and decrease your health a little bit. then rush towards him an begin with the uppercut, then do the combo again and so on. sometimes he will do some special attacks like a energy ball, just block. he will only do this if you are far away. He also will perform a energywave or something like this. you HAVE to block it, otherwise you will lose much health. you will know what i mean when he did it the first time^^
He also performs a little energy rush when you did your combo a few times. so don't hit him all the time and let him do HIS combo while you block.
pls excuse my (maybe) bad english^^

Lambert June 18, 2008 5:43 PM

Sure things could be polished, but the animation is well worth the little glitches

I feel religious when I see how the people move, slash, die etc.. You can feel the weight of the sword, the breath of the minotaur.. all in black-and-white!!

Probably a one-man-game, and one can easily guess that animation is the speciality of the creator of the game...

Imperfect but animation and art set a milestone in my opinion!!

Anonymous July 27, 2008 2:06 PM

When I got to level 12, it threw me back to level 8! Huh? I tried thrice, and then I got tired of trying. amd I tried on two different computers, one windows and one mac!


Concept: 8/10
Story: 7/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 3/10
Gameplay: 5/10
Music: 7/10
Very nice looking game, the way the graphics meshes with the little 'story' and the music is great. Sadly, the controls and gameplay don't come up to the same standards. As a puzzle/action game where fine control is often needed, it is terribly inconvenient to be unable to move in small steps.


Is there anyone reaching the level 9? I can not get through that. Some help?

youngwoog lei November 16, 2008 1:00 PM

how do you get passed stage 8?!? i need serious help. how do you get the eagles red wings that are trapped?


I do love the score, but I would NOT have minded a "mute" option--because for some reason, I felt like playing Ninja games while listening to David Sedaris. Obviously not today, so I'll give the game a go after finishing "Me Talk Pretty One Day".

Well, that and regardless, I think a lot of epic games are made more epic with "Disturbia" and other such upbeat, modern tunes.


I have to say, I hate level 9

Anonymous June 24, 2009 4:52 PM

Can someone please tell me a full story because this game is ok but there is so much thing down there that are true.
So please can someone tell me the story of the game so i not supposed to play this game, I need story so i can play second part.

himynameissmile December 18, 2009 12:05 PM


just wanted to say that on stage 3 you are faced with a drop to lot of spikes. If you drop down you get killed, but before the retry/quit buttons come up press the restart level button in the top right corner and the level will restart but the buttons in the middle will still come up at the start of the level and the guy will just collapse.


how do u beat stage 8?? i cant get that red feather thing thats trapped in there its very frustrating


Yeah, I instantly noticed the Zelda: Twilight Princess music (from when Midna's "dying") and wondered if that was legal. Oh well.


The song at the start of this game is from 'The legend of zleda: twilight princess'...


What am i supposed to do in stage 8? its starting to tick me off. hahahaha


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