Combining the very best of sci-fi and aerial dogfighting gameplay, AX:EL delivers a totally new gaming experience. Create your very own shape-shifting vehicle and dominate both the sky and the ocean.
User reviews:
Mixed (40 reviews) - 65% of the 40 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 4, 2015

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Recent updates View all (28)

August 2

Update is live!

Update is finally live!

- HUB stats are now numeric
- Added Motion Blur and slider to configure it
- Improved aircraft dynamics
- Bugfixes

Thanks everyone for the feedback and suggestions!

2 comments Read more

About This Game

Build your own aircraft and prepare to fight

Combining the very best of sci-fi and aerial dogfighting gameplay, AX:EL delivers a totally new gaming experience. Create your very own shape-shifting vehicle and dominate both the sky and the ocean.

Build your own bespoke aircraft, from mainframe to wings. Dominate the skies then watch your aircraft morph in to a silent underwater killing machine as you chase the enemy from the blue skies in to the darkest depths of the ocean.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7/8
    • Processor: 3.5 GHz dual core CPU or more
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1500MB video RAM with pixel shader 3.0 support
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Sound Card: OpenAL capable sound device
Customer reviews
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Mixed (40 reviews)
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32 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
A fun, if sometimes clunky, game. The looks of the enviroment are awesome and the fighters (usually) fly pretty well. I honestly wish there was more options to customize your fighters, more than just a wing/tail changes for the creatable fighters, and more maps
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 32 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
28.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 20, 2014
(click the "recommended" to see the screenshot thumbnails)

Do you like arcade flight simulators? Think back to the great games in the genre: Ace Combat, Crimson Skies, Fury 3, Lylat Wars, YAGER; what would you like in a game like that?

Do you want pretty? Pretty you'll have. While explosions don't have the best effects by far and environment textures could use some work, AX:EL is one of the prettiest flight games out there in light, colors and environment. The camera and the moving planes give also a great sense of action alongside with non-annoying but very nice touches like lens flares, glows, refraction and lots of tiny details like some destructible structures, flora and waves.

Do you want campaign? The "Mercenary missions" mode currently offers 10 missions that need to be unlocked progressively, with objectives varying from destroying squadrons, running search and rescue operations, transporting sensitive cargo through storms, and fighting huge boss-like enemies. While the number might seem a bit small, they are highly replayable, fairly long, include their selection of music (also composed by the author, really nice music, too.) and feature no lives, meaning you'll have to do them on one try, which adds to the difficulty but doesn't make them especially frustrating.

Do you just want to shoot stuff down? The Arena mode features deathmatch and team deathmatch, both with customizable bots. It also has multiplayer support, but only ip-to-ip or LAN modes. AI can get pretty intense on the higher levels.

Do you want customization? Every kill in either game mode, Arena or Mercenary, or Mercenary Mission completion, will earn you MsM. You can use that MsM to purchase a variety of body, weapon, wing or tail modules, with specific bonuses to each one.

Do you want spectacle? Not only AX:EL's visuals will keep you engaged, the planes control really nicely, and the combat soon gets close and personal, with planes struggling to shake missiles while avoiding explosions and pulling insane-G maneuvers. It would be safe to say it's a game one will want to come to time and time again.

Did I mention the planes can go underwater at any time? And that once there they switch to an underwater configuration? And that there's underwater missions, as well? And that there's sonic booms, working in-cockpit first person view and different atmospheric densities?

Now, while still weak at the finer points of the game and control (I feel like the weapon system should be more fleshed out and general presentation is still a bit lacking), if what you want is to fly planes and shoot stuff up, I couldn't recommend a better game to do so with. Easily over War Thunder if you don't mind the limited multiplayer, and easily over Ace Combat Assault Horizon, period.

8/10. Not perfect, really *really* friggin' good. For a studio made game. For a one-man project such as this one, it's outstanding.

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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 1, 2015
Very playable early access arcade style flight game. Reminds me of afterburner I loved as a kid. Has several customizable planes with cool skins u purchase with ingame currency earned from killing enemies. AI skillevel is adjustable to keep you interested. A must have for arcade style flight fans.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 19, 2014
About the game:

Is an early access, so, right now its like an alpha.

Gameplay wise is robust and well made.

Graphics are okay-good (still I readed in some place graphics will be update a little).

IA is.. annoying, I mean, really annoying, They really try to kill you at all cost, and in a dogfighting game its cool because you actually can die, its challenging.

For now missions are half-made, so I cant really review it (there is some good surprises in missions though)

My conclusion: The game concepts and the execution its good, a challenging arcade dogfighting game with customizable aircrafts. Its just that, If you like this kind of game I recomend it 100% because its fun, if not, avoid it.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 26, 2015
The Developer responded promptly and resolved the issue with the framerate. The game is promising, and plays somewhat like War Thunder with smoother mouse controls.

Old review:
Well I tried and failed to play the first mission multiple times. Some horrific optimisation issues broke the framerate and it sat like a fat dog stubbornly at 1FPS. I want to love it, but it seems I can't even play it yet. My system specs can run Crysis 14 at 12k.

I suggest not buying Early Access games if you want them to work instantly.

I even made a video about it because I'm that salty.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 21, 2015
Incredible work for a game done by one person Oo
The flight feeling is really well done, it doesn't feel like a regular plane but more like a real spaceship who can go underwater. Because yes, I totally know how a real spaceship who can go underwater drives. The customisation is great and the graphics are beautiful. They may be less beautiful under the sea, even if a certain singing crab called Sebastian could disagree on that point.
The solo mode at the moment is really satisfying, I still didn't tried the online multiplayer but I already have a lot of fun.
If you want to craft your own personnal amphibious Starfighter and pilot it in an awesome world, take this game.

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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 27, 2015
This game is a good dogfight game as we don't see these days!!! It also supports flightstick!
the overall game still needs some polishing but it keeps getting better and better.
my vote is 8/10.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 26, 2014
EARLY ACCESS 30/10/2014
UPDATE 11/12/14

This game was reviewed with a press copy of the game.

Ok the game has just updated and now the game is a lot better and is now definately worth picking up if you like dogfighting ship games, although no one still plays the multiplayer you should still pick it up for the singleplayer!


The game's customisation is very simple as you just simply pay (in game currency) for various parts for your ship, for weapons they offer 3 stats 'Radius' 'Direct Force' and energy drain. Then you can buy wing modules which effect 'Recharge' 'Repair RT' 'Max Speed' and 'Engine PW' this is the same for tail modules. There are also various premade ships which you can also buy that have their own stats.

The flying is simple, the ship follows your mouse while you speed the ship up, there isn't anything unique or cool to it it's just simple and works fine.

I give the game an 8/10 for being a really well made dog fighting ship game, even though no one plays multiplayer the Single player is decent and now with all missions available.

YouTube: Coming Soon
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
AX:EL is Axe Eel Games, a one person developer, Steam debut and it is one of the strongest sci-fi aerial dogfighting games currently on Steam. The game spent significant time moving through the Steam Early Access program and was released in early December of last year. It has been met with mostly positive community feedback. Fans of the game appreciate the amount of work that it would have taken to make the game solo. Doing so enabled the dev to create and fulfill his ideal vision of the game.

One of the best aspects of AX:EL is that you have the ability to build your own aircrafts. While that sounds cool in and of itself it’s not until you’re actually under the hood of the creation system that you truly appreciate its scope. You have the ability to choose an actual ship from twelve different varieties. Then you can choose your wing and tail modules as well as change and adjust weapons systems, counter-measures and the N.A.E.L. (Navigational Automated Evolutionistic Logger). Initially it can all be a little confronting and there’s not a lot of information provided as to what each component does but given a little time you’ll soon work out exactly what each part can do to help your playstyle.

When it comes to actual gameplay players can choose from squaring off in the arena or taking on any one of ten mercenary missions. This doesn’t seem like as much as it should be and perhaps you’d be right. I can understand how early access supporters would have been disappointed with the retail version of the game. However, there is a lot of replayability within the confines of the available content. This, aside from the ship building hub is the game’s greatest strength. Even though the mission structures are the same it is rare to find two playthroughs that play out the same. The arena also allows you to match up against bots giving you an opportunity to continue playing even when nobody else is online. Speaking of, unfortunately, I can never find any other games occurring when I look in the lobby.

Gameplay is surprisingly fun and somewhat addictive. Some players have reported issues but generally speaking the dev has been very quick to polish areas of weakness in the game. He is continuing to work on the game post-launch and is supporting the game and his developing community. You’re getting exactly what is advertised in the game. That’s a strong dogfighting game set in a sci-fi world where you can fight in the skies above and deep in the oceans below.

A great first up effort with signs of a lot of potential to come.

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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
47.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 22, 2015
This game shows that early acces Isn't always bad.
I got the game and was promised something awseome and thats what I got!!
This Game Is how every flight game is supposed to be made.


-Handling of the aircrafts is just amazing.
-Allot of customization options for early acces
-You already get allot of challenging missions

Negative stuff doesn't exsist in this game but this kind off annoys me:

-Some small lighting bugs & glitches ( that will be patched within a week)
-Mapdesign is Basic On most maps but will be updated.
-In the beginning you need to learn the controlls a bit but after that its just all fun and games!
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Recently Posted
Hellfire Burner
0.1 hrs
Posted: October 23
This game SUCKS never buy it
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All Might
1.3 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 11
This game isn't as great as I would hope it would have been. The game is pretty boring for me and I just couldn't enjoy it. I played it for a bit and then realised how much I missed Ace Combat, and started playing it again. Good games should not drive you away and play something else. Only bad games do that.
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Obey the Fist!
1.5 hrs
Posted: September 1
Well this is really more someone mucking around with a 3D gaming engine than an actual game.

It's a lot better than the tired old 2D retro pixel platformers that people with no talent push out just because they think if they release a game pretending 30 years of advancement in video gaming hasn't taken place, they can quit their job at Starbucks. This is more of the foundation for a real game that isn't there yet.

A lot of effort went into making this game work and it shows. The visuals in the engine look nice. There's no sense of "laziness" that you get from other games, rather the feeling that it's an incomplete project.

Unfortunately as far as games go, it's not a huge amount of fun, you have some "morphing" advanced fighter plane that can change shape and turn into a submarine, there's 10 mediocre missions where you shoot uninspired enemies and the game engine gets shown off a lot.

It's a good tech demo but not a game you should buy expecting to get Wing Commander or a decent flight sim or anything.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: August 21
This game sounds awesome; something like a more customizable Ace Combat. At least, that's what I imagined. Unfortunately, the game doesn't really deliver on that. I really enjoy flight sim games, but this one was pretty frustrating in that regard; there were times when I would spawn into a match dead, because I became targeted before I had the controls, the enemies do high amounts of damage that is largely unavoidable, and the controls are clunky and sluggish. As for the customization, you can only pick from about a dozen aircraft, with different options for tails, wings, and weapons, and that's it. The weapons and customizations are identical for all vehicles (except for the few that can't be customized at all), so they can all only look slightly different, and fly slightly different, and play slightly different. I was so excited by the idea of this game, but it has done nothing but disappoint me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: June 9
I had a lot of fun time thank to this game. Nice design, original story and awesome graphics for a so small indie level production. (The guy behind this game is just working alone in all areas: artistic, creative and engineering stuff as well.)
A good example of how make a fun 3D airplane shooting game for PC.
Great job!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.7 hrs
Posted: June 9
It looks alright. Cool that you can go underwater...
I think that's all the positive I can say about it.
...which (being underwater) might be the best part of the game.

I went in with good expectations. Those even raised in the controls menu, where you could say it is suggested you should hook up a joystick if you have one.
After I was set, I went for some quick action against bots...and my expectations instantly crashed into oblivion.
Gameplay is anything but enjoyable. Options what you can do are second to none. Sure you can pimp your craft and there are several to choose from (no, I did not try either), but I really can't see how this game could be enjoyed.
There are different daytime conditions and weather/visibility conditions, but not something that can improve the rest of the game.
So, quick action, you can set amount of bots and some conditions, then it is standard dog fight...well, not really. AI is OK, it can surely shoot you down. There are 10 difficulty options for it. But once they got near, it just became a beehive...a swarm. Several aircrafts spinning and turning in an area around 300 cubic feet :D :(
Campaign...some forgettable debrief, boggies fly in, you shoot them down, more come, you win again, land. Writing this line gave me more fun and adrenaline.

I have played many 3D flying games (arcade, sim and all in between) and I don't recall one so depressing. Excuse that this is one man team...come on. 1 or 1000 can make a good game or a bad game. Saying something is good because it's a small team invites just more projects to fill Steam store with time and money wasting products...and we have several 1000 like that in the store already.

Instead of this I can easily recommend 2 20 year old games from DOS times. F29 Retaliator and F-15 Strike Eagle 2.
Graphically they are no match to this, audio is about on par, but these 2 are masterpieces in comparison in gameplay/fun/tactics/options/... departments. I don't know what to recommend on Steam that is similar, since everyhting else I have is Steamless, but surely there are other games on Steam to feed your need for dog fights.

My first use of: Remove this licence from my Steam account
It felt good :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[ᴸᴼᴳ]Metro Retro
3.6 hrs
Posted: April 1
Published by KISS ltd and developed by Ace Eel Games, AX:EL is a flight simulator done right. The gameplay is fun and somewhat addictive, which is a little strange for a game like this. The graphics are well presented and polished up nicely.

So what are you going to expect from this game that is basically a flight simulator? Well first of all there is a rather nice feature which is implimented into the game that really brings this game up and past the other flight simulators on Steam. This feature, is the ability to be able to create your own aircrafts and be able to fly around in them. For me personally, I am one of those people who will happily take a hour o rtwo to create my aircraft, it does take a little bit to be able to create your aircraft so don't expect to be done in 5 minutes and off you go. It has a rather nice variety of different types of ships that you can choose from, I think there are about twelve different types that you can choose. After you have chosen that, you can then choose your wing and tail parts as well as change your weapons systems and the Navigational Automated Evolutionistic Logger (N.A.E.L). When you first make your craft, it may be a little tedious, as there is rather little amount of information provided as to what each component that you put on your aircraft does. But if you are willing to take a little time and consideration into finding out what each component does then you will figure it out soon enough. When you are finally ready after creating your aircraft, you can then start on the actual gameplay. When you start, you are able to choose fromsquaring off in the arena, or choosing any of the ten missions that they set you on. For a game that is fully released on Steam, to me it didn't really seem like there was much content in the game than there should've been for a fully released game. However, the game does manage to keep pulling you back into some of the missions because of the replay value of this game with the content that is avaialble. Despite the missions are similar structures to one another, it is very doubtful that you will find that two playthroughs of the same mission play out the same way. The arena mode for me wasn't as fun as the missions that you can embark on, you are matched up against bots giving you the ability to continue playinf even if there is nobody else online in your lobby. However, it was rather unfortunate that I couldn't find any other games that where going on in the lobby as I looked through. Overall, the gameplay is rather fun and addicting to play.

The graphics of this game are really well done, there seems to have been a lot of time and effort that has gone into every little detail of this game as you play it through. The atmosphere really works well, with this type of sci-fi feeling with the sky really works well when you are flying and shooting in combat. Each ship variety is done really well, they aren't just copied and reskinned like some other game. They have all of their own unique features of them making each of them look really polished and nicely presented.

+ Ability to be able to create your own aircraft
+ Nice variety of componenets to create your aircraft
+ Lots of replay value
+ Fun and addictive gameplay
+ No two playthroughs of the same missions are the same
+ Nicely polished and presented graphics.
+ Trading Cards & Achievements

- Creating your aircraft takes a fair amount of time,
- Not much infomation about what each component does when you build your aircraft
- Not as much content as I would of hoped for

Result / Final thoughts
With this dogfighting simulator that has a lot of vairety and replay value to the game, I really recommened this game to anyone who likes this genre of gaming. With the ability to be able to fly in the skies and then dive into the ocean is a satifying feeling that you won't instantly crash when you hit the water. All of the graphics are nicely presented and the gameplay is fun and addicting. Just a few things that need to be polished up here and there, which aren't major things at all.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.2 hrs
Posted: March 29
awful game, lousy controls, bad menu settings, fps dies once you hit water, generic flying sim, nothing new, nothing interesting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.0 hrs
Posted: March 24
Great, for a one man team. Endless customization, as well as an Arena fighting mode. The single-player campaign is a little short, though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny