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B-Wings (NES) Retro Review

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Game Name: B-Wings

Developer: Data East

Publisher: Data East

Release Date: June 3rd, 1986

Platforms: Arcade and Famicom


This is a game that I have never really heard much about. I always played it on my compilation cartridges, 100 in1, 76 in 1...etc. I never realized that this game was an arcade game first. However, I do understand why I never really heard of this game more in the past. It was only available on the Famicom system which is the Japan version for the Nintendo Entertainment System.


The gameplay is very similar to many other games in the genre. I guess you can consider this a space shooter. In terms of gameplay, you can compare this to River Raid (Atari) or even 1942 (NES and Arcade). It is a screen scroller and you have to complete various levels. There are a total of 45 levels. I cannot confirm that as I was never able to complete the game. May be that should be a goal for me next year. :)

When you first start the game you are prompted to pick a weapon. See the selection screen below.

As you can see, you can select from quite a few weapons. The one that I always use is Fire as it is one of the strongest weapons. I also like the Hammer weapon. The other weapons do not work very well.

Once you start there are various enemies that come at you from the top. as you progress in the game they get more evasive and some even shoot weapons. At the end of each level there is a boss. The bosses are not super difficult if you have the right weapon. For example, if you have the fire weapon you can beat the boss in seconds. However if you do not have any extra fire power, it can be much more difficult.

If you crash in the first few levels, you get to choose a weapon once again. When you die at a higher level, you lose it completely and have to hope that there is a weapon pick up somewhere near. This is where I think the gap of difficulty lies. The gap is way too big. Either it is very difficult or too easy.

Below you can find sample gameplay for B-Wings.

Sample Gameplay


I think that this game is fun but it does not do enough to set itself apart from other games. There are many other games of this type that made their mark. There is nothing really bad about the game. The controls are solid. The game does not glitch. The visuals are also great. May be that is why it was never really released on the North American NES console, it was not different enough.

If you happen to pass by a flea market and see this one in the bin, you can pick it up. Like I said it is one of the good games on the multicarts that I have and I am happy that I was able to play it because I never really owned a Famicom System. All in all I think that it is a hidden gem that is fun but can also be frustrating to play.

Rating: 7.5 on 10

Have you played this game before? Did you like it? Let me know at the coordinates below.

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