Free As A Bird: Altitude For All


When I let slip that Altitude was one of the games I was hiding in my Steam library, I was called, perhaps rightly, a monster. “Such a great little indie multiplayer game (which still has regular players even after a few years. That’s pretty rare)” said commenter Gnoupi. “That was a cracking little game” added LionsPhil. I’m sorry. I am a monster, though at least I have fewer games to scroll through now.

If you are not a monster and also fancy the sound of multiplayer 2D aerial combat (or is that how we define ‘not a monster’?), good news: Altitude is now free for everyone to download and play.

Developers Nimbly Games explain that they won’t make money on this and it’s “strictly to attract new players”, so they’ve also taken the game widescreen to make it more attractive. Seeing more of the battlesky might mess with plane balance, so they’ll wait and see then tweak if necessary.

You can nab Altitude for Windows, Mac, and Linux through Steam or DRM-free on its website. Given that it once cost $20, you can also consider downloading this to be saving $20 and buy yourself a delicious fancy lunch.

Here, see the level of skill you could reach with enough dedication by having a gander at the finals of last year’s Altitude ProLeague:


  1. Jubaal says:

    This reminds me of an old game on the BBC Micro, but I can’t remember what it was called.

    Whilst typing this it’s come back to me… I think it was called “Bandits at 6 o’clock”

    Edit: After a bit of research turns out it was called Bandits at 3 O’clock. Hey, I was close though!

    • Kefren says:

      The plane movement reminds me more of The Island of Dr. Destructo link to

      • Malcolm says:

        Wow – not seen that in a few years. I seem to remember I could never get past the submarine level.

        • Kefren says:

          It did get pretty hard with the insta-touch, insta-kill enemies, and the massive amount of damage you had to do. Good fun though.

      • Themadcow says:

        Absolutely Island of Dr Destructo. Which is a good thing because I bloody loved that game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh, and also Apricots. I’d edit this into my last post, but it’s not showing up, and my patience with this spam filter has run out.

  2. Sidewinder says:


  3. El_Emmental says:

    It’s still a lovely indie game, highly recommended :)

    It might seem a bit difficult to get the hang of it, but the learning curve is actually quite smooth.

    Oh, and don’t leave before trying the ball game mode, where you have to throw it into the enemy goal: make the right pass at the right time to the right player to win ; or throw it high in the air toward the enemy base, sneak forward and neutralize your enemy, and grab it again to score :D

    • Gnoupi says:

      Exactly. Altitude is fun for a moment as a deathmatch game, but you will easily get bored of it. The core fun of the game is in the ball mode (and also a bit in the bomb one)!

      It’s like a kind of TF2 as a sports game. You have different classes of planes, some fast and nibble, but weak. Some strong, bombarding the place. Some laying down mines to defend the goal. Even a sneaky one teleporting back, tricking enemies (those bloody mirandas).

      The ball mode is a lot in the momentum: if you carry the ball, you are slowed down and become an easy target. So you have to pass a lot (leading to great interceptions), or throw the ball in front of you, catching it back, because it allows you to make great accelerations.

  4. Zankmam says:

    The game was technically free for, what, 3 years now?

    Some of the content was behind a paywall, but you could still play it fine.

    Either way, although this is cool, thing is: The game is dead. :/ I checked it out a few months ago out of nostalgia and it had barely 5 players online.

    • Orageon says:

      Hi Zankmam, this is actually completely false. But it can depend based on the time of the day. in the evening up till 1 am, in europe, there are usually at least one or 2 servers full just for Ball-mode (which is for me the most fun mode to play, but I digress), and possibly one or 2 servers full for Bombing.

      It’s not much, but there is a steady community. I bought the game cheap long time ago, and it is perfect for little games late at night of pseudo-football, so much that I have more hours on this one than any of my other games, Skyrim/Oblivion included.

      The learning curve can be a bit tough especially on football mode + the football map (empty except goals, so no hiding away from projectiles), but overall it is a remarkable game that I recommend to anyone. There are people connected especially if you come at the right hours, and can probably stand the usual “noobs” thrown around but some of the thickiest veterans, of course (like in any game really)

  5. Bobka says:

    I played this a while ago one weekend, and was honestly surprised at just how fun it was. I’d recommend at least giving it a shot.