While it has a kid focus, Sky Captain has some light-hearted and entertaining Pilotwings-esque gameplay.
If you're over the age of 10, I wouldn't blame you for dismissing Kid Adventures: Sky Captain as a throwaway kid's game. Developed by Torus Games, who made Scooby-Doo! First Frights and are working on Little Monsters, Sky Captain puts you in the shoes of a budding young pilot who journeys around different islands, ranging from the pirate-themed Captain's Cove to the lush landscape of Nimbus Island. It's bright, colorful, and probably wouldn't be out of place in a Saturday morning cartoon.
However, underneath the childish exterior, Sky Captain has the makings of a fun, simple flight game in the same vein as Nintendo's dormant Pilotwings franchise. You hold the Wii Remote like an NES controller and tilt it to move your vehicle, pressing the buttons to accelerate, decelerate, take pictures, or shoot off water balloons. It's deliberately non-harmful, though the water balloons function almost exactly like a gun would in an air combat game.
The goal of the game is to become the new sky captain, and you achieve this by completing 40 missions spread out across the different islands. The missions are what you'd expect from other flight games, but it eschews bullets for water.
I played a mission that involved dousing a forest fire. Sweeping in, I fired off a barrage of water balloons to put out the flames. When I ran out of ammo, all I had to do to refill was skim the top of the water located throughout the environment.
Another mission required me to pick up keys, and then take them to unlock cages. When I had a key, I had to make sure to keep my aircraft steady, or else the key would fall out of my grasp and I'd have to pick it up again.
Most of Sky Captain reminds me of Pilotwings, but the missions that involve flying through rings are where the comparison shines the brightest. There are also several different aircrafts to control, such as a jet plane, gyrocopter, and UFO. They all control differently, with the UFO being rather difficult yet rewarding to control.
The UFO has a special mission all of its own that is part of the game's final mission. In addition to all the mechanics of the ships, you can also abduct cows. They are hidden throughout every level, and the whole process is pretty comical.
The game also has different forms of multiplayer. A second player can jump into the main game and help out in split-screen co-op, and there is also head-to-head competitive multiplayer. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try out either of the multiplayer options.
All in all, Sky Captain looks to be a solid kid-focused Pilotwings-esque game. It is due out on June 15 and will be available for $19.95.