Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Friday 20 July 2018

The Game Shelf Previews:- Air Flix

Game: Air Flix

Publisher: Dice Sports

Designer: Robert Butler, Garry Thompson

Year: 2019

Air Flix recreates the dog-fights of World War II in a dexterity game where accurate flicking is the key to success. Play as the Germans or the Allies, taking on missions or simply try to shoot your enemies out of the sky!

Air Flix recently funded on Kickstarter and should be available around mid-2019. Here we're taking a look at the base game, although expansions were available in the Kickstarter campaign.


Air flix features two game modes: Dogfighting where you simply select up to 5 fighters on each side and fight to see who remains, and bombing where the Germans will use their bombers to destroy allied bases before the bombers are shot down. Both game modes are played the same way with the exception of bombing (you simply have to flick a bomber over a target on the play mat) and reinforcements (you can't run out of fighters in the bombing mode).

Movement is where the flicking comes in. Each time you activate a plane you can turn then move, or move then turn. Turning is dictated by markers printed on the plane's base, while moving involves you flicking the back of the plane within a marked area. If you don't travel far enough with your flick then your engine can stall causing you to take 1 damage and be unable to fire in the shooting phase. Even worse if you crash into other planes you can take major faults which deal 2 damage, or critical failure, crashing your plane entirely!
Combat is done in a very X-Wing style way, there is a firing arc on each of your planes that shows you where they can soot and a range ruler that will tell you if your target is in range. Should you have a target in range you will get to roll the dice for your plane (3 white dice for the fighters) and every hit you roll deals one damage. On top of this if you are fighting at short range on the range ruler, or attacking from behind you'll get a bonus attack dice, should you be behind and at short range then you get two bonus dice! Should a plane be reduced to 0 health then it will be destroyed, but not until the end of the phase, even destroyed planes get to shoot!

Amy’s Final Thoughts

World War Two games have a reputation for being heavy, in depth games with rules books the size of a novel and all the graphical design of clip art. Air Flix bucks this trend big time with a wonderful play mat and lovingly designed plane minis. The plane's having clear bases is even an integral part of the game as you can see through to whether they have been hit by flak or arrived at bombing locations. Unfortunately the two side's fighters do look pretty similar in grey plastic, I would strongly recommend picking up a couple of pots of paint and at least filling in the RAF/Luftwaffe logos so you can identify them at a glance.

While Air Flix is a flicking game, accurate flicking isn't all there is to the game. The most common error is to just to whiff the flick and not move far enough and stall your plane's engine. Due to your limited turning circles with planes you get an authentic dogfighting style combat with planes doing large loops and strafing runs while desperately trying to get behind your enemies. Of course with you only rolling 3-5 dice at a time there is quite a lot of room for dice luck in the game, but the bonus die you get for getting into good firing positions are more likely to hit, so skill can at least increase your odds.

The lack of variation in the air forces is a definite minus for the base game, fortunately the kickstarter version will be coming with more planes and even some elite pilots to freshen things up. Without those it feels a bit like playing a game of X-wing with only the basic pilots and no upgrades. The bombing mission adding a second plane type does a lot for variation as the bombers are able to fire behind with their tail gunners, I hope that the final game includes more interesting twists. Air Flix is a nice, light WW2 dogfighting game, but it does feel like you have explored everything it has to offer by the end of game two.

Fi’s Final Thoughts

I was a child who enjoyed making model Air Fix planes. Even the name of this game holds some nostalgia for me. The miniature planes in Air Flix are great and I'd love to paint them to make the Allies and the Germans more distinct. Flicking games are not really my thing, because I'm terrible at them, but, even for me, the play factor of flicking the planes around is very high - the play mat is great for making them glide.

The basic game is just about destroying the other player's planes by positioning you planes and rolling dice to see if you hit. There is a luck factor in the dice rolling which can be a bit disappointing if you've used a lot of skill to get into a good position. The more advanced bombing mission rewards the Germans' skill quite well because their end-game goal is all about positioning, whilst the Allies still have to rely on dice luck, which doesn't seem that fair, but with that said the bombing mission seemed to be quite difficult!

Our first game of Air Flix was really fun. It has a novelty value and looks fantastic on the table. In our second game, we played the longer bombing mission and the novelty had worn of slightly, meaning that the early rounds dragged. I enjoy the simplicity of the game - it makes it very accessible, but there is huge scope to add a lot more variety here with different flying missions or planes with varied abilities, such as higher damage, more maneuverability etc. Something that gave the game a bit more pace at the start, rather than slowly whittling down damage would get me more excited. I'm interested to see what additional mechanisms were added by the expansion content in the Kickstarter campaign.

Ultimately, Air Flix was a game that had us excitedly standing around the table and we definitely had fun, but it felt more like an experience to share with friends rather than one other person. It's also not the kind of gaming experience I often seek out. Air Flix is a game I could see myself playing at a cafe as a light break from learning new games.

You Might Like...
  • Air Flix is a rare accessible WW2 themed game.
  • The game feels like a fast, simplified version of X-Wing without a lot of the stress that Fi often feels during that game.
  • Even our prototype was really good quality with a great play-mat. It's a table-hog, but a great game to see laid out on the table.
You Might Not Like...
  • The futility of being bad at flicking and destroying your own planes through constant stalling and hitting other planes! Judging the mid-range is really hard!
  • The game is two-player and only and sort of creates an atmosphere that might be more fun with a larger group.
  • There isn't much variety in the game, with just two different game mode options.

The Verdict
Air Flix was undeniably a fun activity, but the game itself was quite an odd mixture of accurate flicking skill followed by complete luck of the dice. We'd definitely recommend it to people looking for a light WW2 game and it's one that would work for younger kids who are keen on this theme.

Air Flix was a prototype review copy kindly provided to the Board Game Exposure Reviewer Collective.

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