By: Xander

On: May 5th, 2009


Just a quick one today! Altitude is a self described ‘Fast paced aerial action game’, which is quite an apt summary really. The focus of the game is multi-player where you and a number of buddies pilot one of five different planes, of which there are two variants of each featuring different weapon load-outs, in an attempt to either take out the enemy fighters or deliver a package from their base to the enemy base. Oddly the package seems to explode on contact, damaging their base. Why would they try to deliver explosive devices in such a dangerous fashion?

One of the interesting draws of the game is that success in either dogfighting or playing payload paperboy yields XP, which is used to either unlock the planes for use or one of a number of ‘perks’ which can be customised on aircraft to confer various bonuses. I’m personally a sucker for any kind of persistant elements in games, especially multiplayer action games so this is definitely a plus for me. The frame-work holding it all together is fairly swish too, with an in-game friends system including a group chat function if you’d like to plan things out in advance, or a drop-in function if you just want to dive into a friends game and howl lead through the skies as quick as you can.

The game strikes me as overall a very nice product. It doesn’t quite set itself apart from the pack, but it does provide a very complete package that seems well supported with updates handled by the game on booting. There’s a demo available on the site, as well as the full version for $20 (both Linux and Mac machines are supported too), with demo access restricting you to only two planes and two perks though otherwise it allows you to play just the same as anyone else online. It’s well worth a playthrough with its quickly gratifying pick-up-and-play style, and to further sweeten the deal the full version will be unlocked for everyone this coming weekend to get a full taste of the product. With that, there’s no reason not to give it a chance. To the skies!

  • pineg

    For a really interesting example of how community feedback can influence the development of an indie game, look at the somethingawful thread for this. I believe the developer posted it exclusively there and tried to make modifications based on the feedback.

  • Gio

    The game looks and plays great, I certainly hope it becomes as popular as TeeWorlds and Soldat. I got a suggestion for the creators, you should create a level editor and maybe introduce helicopter into the game? But i’m just throwing random ideas….

  • chobopeon

    There is a level editor and it is awesome. Definitely recommended.

  • Gio

    I might just buy this to support such a wonderful project. But This game needs more publicity! Quick, someone inform Kotaku, IGN, G4TV’s Attack of the Show! For Altitudes sake, this game needs attention! Don’t let it be forgotten! DON’T LET IT BE FORGOTTEN!

  • muku

    I played this quite extensively while it was in open beta, it’s ravishingly fun.

  • Flamebait

    I liked Subspace/Continuum back in the day, and Triplane Turmoil (a game with similar roots), but I just don’t find this fun.

  • ShawnF

    Been playing this game forever, and it’s one of my favorites. One of the few indie games that I think really does multiplayer right.

  • Krux

    I tried the Linux version. It crashed after the first update. After i killed the process, there was still this infinite loop of sound (0.1 seconds i think). I ignored it and turned the sound off. Then I started the game again, and I had to create an account. I hate creating accounts. OK after clicking on “Create Account” I had to enter a valid e-mail, but I was not able to write an @ because on my german keybord the @ is the third key function of Q and third keyfunctions are deactivated.

    My decision is now not to play this game anymore. By the way there are many games out there exactly like this game. I don’t need it.

  • Michael

    One thing – there are actually three types of each plane, and then there are two other categories of modifiers (“perks”) with four variants each. I’ve been playing for awhile and still have a few combos in the back if my mind to check out…

  • Muscat

    Gave the demo a go and its totally sweet. I like deliberately stalling, falling down backwards so that I can shoot up at the planes above, before pulling out of the stall at the last moment. Good fun :)

  • claps

    this game is great. and you do not need to enter a valid e-mail

  • bob Jones

    This game played perfectly fine on my eeepc running linux. I was surprised. Limiting the demo to a few unlockables will probably ruin the reward aspect for me though. I don’t wish to be overwhelmed when I do buy it, by choices.

    Will definately buy if the servers continue to have enough people over the weekend.

  • Jellarius

    I’m not sure why I should pay for this when there are free games out there with compairable gameplay? (most notably teeworlds)

  • Zmann

    Teeworlds is not even close to competing with this game’s depth.

  • ShawnF

    Er, dodging the quality discussion completely, I do find it weird that people only seem to make these comments about MP games.

    Can you imagine how weird it’d sound if someone was like, “Why play Triplane Turmoil when I can play Abuse/Facewound for free??” And genre/gameplay-wise, it’s pretty much an identical comparison.

  • Whilstinator

    All I can say is… Whilst!

  • Luis Correia

    This game sucks! (linux version)

    It’s unable to detect my video card, needs a non-existing ‘lshw’ tool, after the tool installed, it still says I need to install Video Drivers for my GE8800GT…


    what a waste of my precious time

    obviously, this must have been tested in some wierdo Linux config…

  • Phasma Felis

    Hay guys! How about you report your problems to the very responsive dev team? I’m sure they’d appreciate the help in improving the Linux version.

  • dog partae

    way too easy, should have collisions between planes and also ground collisions should be fatal. Needs machine guns too, the weapons are not at all satisfying.

    The world needs a new biplane game, unfortunately this is not is

  • acc

    Awesome game!

  • Michael

    dog partae, the biplane has a pretty satisfying machine gun. It’s short range with a useful recoil.

  • Grif

    Congrats to altitude on the feature, been loving this game since I first played it.

    Quite fun, well designed, and extremely flashy.

    Oh, and loving my cameo in the screenshot. <3 xander.

  • Infinity

    Love the game.

    @dog partae: Easy and hard obviously depends on who you’re playing against. It isn’t easy at all when you are playing against the more experienced players.

  • Xander

    And in my experience, or rather inexperience, hitting the ground often proves fatal as I’m quite incapable of pulling out of a stall that close to the ground. Not instantly fatal, but trying to not die isn’t that simple.

  • Agigain


  • Lailoken

    I tried this game and was instantly hooked. I don’t even usually like multi player games like this that much. The inertia/stalling mechanics are great fun, and even the two demo planes are varied enough for hours of fun.

  • Gandalf

    Sorry, but I do not know why I should buy the game. I am absolutely content with the demo so far.

  • Aragorn

    Because… Whilst! That’s reason enough.

  • Wreckus


    It gets much easier to recover from stalls as you play. Also, you’ll probably stall less often as the Explodet’s Thermobaric missiles do not cause a stall any longer.

  • Stij

    I’ve always wanted a good multiplayer biplane game. I’ll definitely give this a shot.

  • shockedfrog

    The original Altitude that this is a kind of reimagining of was awesome, and had a small but dedicated following amongst the gamehippo community and some others. Though I didn’t get the chance to play against anyone during the new beta, I wasn’t all that impressed by the feel of the new one in the practice mode, or the general clunkiness of the interface. While it appears to have gone through a bit of work since then, I’m still not convinced, and this mention of XP concerns me a bit since that seems to totally go against the true pick up and play style of the original. That said, I might give it a go during the free weekend and hopefully it’ll surprise me.

  • jimmykane

    Free weekend?! BUT I HAVE 7 EXAMS NEXT WEEK.

  • Phasma Felis

    @Xander: This is true! The solution is to stop hitting the ground so much. :D

  • Flamebait

    Had nothing else to play, so I gave it multiple more tries, but it is decently fun.

  • Flamebait

    Opinion MK3: _very_ fun with limited replay value. I played it for about 6 hours straight the day before yesterday, a while the next day, and now I have no desire to play it again.

    I rarely revise opinions this often.

  • Sdfsklj

    one of the best games  EVER!!!! join us in skype for voice   hiphintech is my name and STEAM: hiphintech