Windjammers (video game)

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Windjammers arcade flyer.jpg
Developer(s)Data East
DotEmu (PS4/PSV/Switch)
Data East
Producer(s)Takaaki Inoue
Programmer(s)Wataru Iida
Artist(s)Makoto Nozu
Masateru Inagaki
Masayuki Inoshita
Composer(s)Masaaki Iwasaki
Seiichi Hamada
Tomoyoshi Sato
  • Arcade
    • WW: 17 February 1994
    Neo Geo AES
    • JP: 8 April 1994
    • NA: 8 April 1994
    • EU: 8 April 1994
    Neo Geo CD
    Virtual Console
    PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
    Nintendo Switch
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Windjammers[a] is a sports arcade game released by Data East on the Neo Geo arcade system in 1994.[2] The game mechanics are essentially the same as Pong or air hockey, where players continuously shoot the disc at the goal zone of the opponent attempting to score. The game can be played against the computer or in a 2 player versus.

A sequel, Windjammers 2, is planned for release on Nintendo Switch and PC in 2021.[3][4]


Gameplay screenshot.

Players choose from one of six playable characters, each with their own unique speed and power ratings and special throws. The player maneuvers around his/her side of the court in any of the 8 cardinal directions (allowing for almost fluid movement in any direction). They must act as the defence and offence of their side, blocking the disc from entering the goal zone, and throwing the disc back to the opponent's side attempting to score. Players throw the disc back and forth (with the speed of the disc generally increasing with each throw) until one of them scores a point, which causes the disc to be reset by the referee, who throws it to the player that was scored on so that they can serve. There are yellow and pink zones with the former being worth 3 points and the latter being 5, with the zones positioning varying for each court. Also not catching the disc while it is in the air (described below) is considered a "Miss" and gives 2 points to the opponent.

Defensive play[edit]

While the opponent holds the disc the player acts defensively by trying to grab the disc and therefore stopping it from entering their goal zone. In order to stop the disc the player simply needs to make contact with it. They can walk into the disc or dive for it with a button press (which is done at almost all times due to the high speeds of the disc). Sometimes the disc may be launched into the air, due to the opponent, the net, barriers, or sometimes bouncing off the player's back, in which a target will appear on the court showing the landing spot of the disc, which can be caught by standing on said target.

Offensive play[edit]

While the player holds the disc they act offensively by trying to throw it into the goal zone of the opponent. The player can not move while holding the disc, and can not hold it for more than a few seconds. The player points with the joystick in the direction he/she wishes to throw the disc, and presses the primary button. The player can throw it either directly at the opponents goal zone or attempt to bounce the disc off the walls, or barriers (if in a court that contains them).

Winning the game[edit]

When playing against the computer the player plays one match against each character (with the next characters difficulty increasing each time) until all are defeated, thus winning the game, and when playing 2 player versus one match is played between the two players. A match consists of 3 sets that last 30 seconds by default and up to 99 seconds on the arcade version. (with the timer not stopping when a point is scored unlike most sports). A set is won by the player who has the most points at the end of 30 seconds, or if a player reaches 12 points. A tie gives a win to both players. A match is won when the player wins two sets, if players tie in both of the first two sets (giving each of them two wins) the game enters a sudden death round where the first player to score (regardless of the zone value) wins.


On June 22, 2010, the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan. Following the bankruptcy of Data East, the intellectual rights for this game were acquired by Paon DP, a mobile company formed by some ex-Data East employees.[5][6] It was delisted from the Virtual Console on December 24, 2013, making it the only delisted Neo-Geo game for the Virtual Console.

A port of the game with online multiplayer support was released by DotEmu for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on August 29, 2017, with a Nintendo Switch version on October 23, 2018.[7][8]


In Japan, Game Machine listed Windjammers on their May 1, 1994 issue as being the twenty-second most-successful table arcade unit of the year, outperforming titles such as Samurai Shodown.[29] According to Famitsu, the Neo Geo CD version sold over 4,307 copies in its first week on the market.[30] Four reviewers of Famitsu gave the Neo Geo version a score of 28 out of 40.[12] Edge gave it 5 out of 10 and stated that "there’s nothing particularly outstanding about it".[11]

Retrospective reviews[edit]

Video game website Giant Bomb began regularly playing the game on camera in 2013, eventually giving it their "Old Game of the Year" award.[37] The same website later classified the game as a runner-up for "2017's Old Game of the Year" at the Game of the Year 2017 Awards.[38]

The game has also enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to a growing competitive scene. In 2018, it appeared at the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) annual fighting game championships in Las Vegas as a side tournament.[39]


  1. ^ Known as Flying Power Disc (Japanese: フライング・パワー・ディスク, Hepburn: Furaingu Pawā Disuku) in Japan.


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  12. ^ a b "NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: フライングパワーディスク". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 332. ASCII. April 28, 1995. p. 24.
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  14. ^ Homsy, Richard; Menier, Marc (June 1994). "Neo Geo Review - Pulstar". Consoles + (in French). No. 33. M.E.R.7. pp. 94–95. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
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  16. ^ Perry, Dave; Wilton, Pete; Walkland, Nick; Price, Adrian (April 1995). "Reviews: Neo Geo CD - Windjammers". Games World. No. 10. Paragon Publishing. p. 18.
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  23. ^ "NF編集部にまる - ネオジオゲームㇱインレビュー: フライングパワーディスク". Neo Geo Freak (in Japanese). No. 25. Geibunsha. June 1997. pp. 124–128.
  24. ^ Schneider, Ulf (June 1994). "Neo Geo Review: Windjammers". Play Time (in German). No. 36. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 147.
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  26. ^ Iturrioz, Javier (July 1994). "Neo Geo - Review: Disco MANIA – Windjammers". Superjuegos (in Spanish). No. 27. Grupo Zeta. pp. 86–89.
  27. ^ "Ultimate review sector: Flying Power Disc (Neo Geo • Data East)". Ultimate Future Games. No. 5. Future Publishing. April 1995. p. 89.
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