Windjammers (PS4)

Modern esports offer nothing comparable to Windjammers. There’s no rest in this digital pseudo-sport. It’s dressed in flashy neon colors with steroidal athletes impossibly slinging a disc toward one another, trying to sink said disc into a wide goal. Windjammers is a constant blast of intensity, demanding white-knuckle controller gripping and fists pumping in the air after a contested point. That fist represents a second to breathe as much as elation.

Ably adapting the core back-and-forth motions of Pong with the ferocity of dodgeball, Windjammers offers ceaseless competition. There’s nationalism – eight countries represented – and heartache – every brutal loss. Were Windjammers real, no human could take the strain. From Data East (and this is their best work from two decades of output), Windjammers digitizes the feeling of straining muscles and excreting sweat.

Artwork places Windjammers in ’93, but this is just as likely to be 2093 as opposed to Windjammers’ release year. It’s a sport, but one with the unrelenting core of blazingly-paced action videogames. Imagine, momentarily, the disc is a bullet. Windjammers doesn’t differ in substance from a traditional shoot-em-up. This feels like the future.

Windjammers is intelligently composed, brightly attractive, and suited specifically to this medium – and only this medium.


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