|“||Fly into the number board and earn points! [2 tries]”|
|— In-game description • Kirby Air Ride|
Essentially, Target Flight is a game of darts with Air Ride Machines, but with the scoreboard randomized. There is always one 100-point square with a shutter that opens and closes, one 50-point square, one 40-point square, and three blank squares worth zero points. There are squares on the ground between the takeoff ramp and the scoring wall as well, and the 40-point square is here, along with a few 20-point squares. The rest of the squares are worth 5 or 10 points. Hitting any part of the shutter of the 100-point square scores zero. Hitting any square makes it blank, so any subsequent air ride machines hitting the same square scores zero.
The player gets two runs, and the final score is the sum of the two. The maximum possible score is 200; scoring this is one of the Checklist objectives.
Machine stats do not matter as much as choice of machine (no non-gliding and poor-gliding machines) and degree of control over it, but against human players and high level CPUs, it is desirable to have as high a top speed as possible to hit the highest-scoring squares first.
The player always starts off on a downward slope, which leads to a ramp with boost pads. Hitting all of them is ideal. After that, it's simply steering to the desired square and not missing it. On machines with very high speeds, it is useful to aim above the 100-point square so should the timing of the shutter be off, one can pull the nose up and press button A to have the machine drop down to delay hitting the square. Negative weight lets the machine drop slower and eases this procedure.
To fulfill the Checklist objective of scoring exactly 90 points, the player should hit the 50-point square and the 40-point square (on the ground) on separate runs.