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For: iPhone

Unruly air style

Product: AirAttack | Developer: Art In Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
AirAttack iPhone, thumbnail 1
Given the horrific casualties incurred during World War II, it’s just as well the Allied and Axis powers didn’t have access to today’s technology.

Art in Games is the latest in a surprisingly long line of developers to imagine what such a dark alternative time-line may have looked like.

In AirAttack you take part in a one-plane-against-the-world campaign of top-down shoot-‘em-up action. It’s set in a universe where past, present, and future military technology collide.

Pulse bombs away

In short, that means taking control of a spitfire that showers the sky with bullets, not to mention lightning and guided missiles.

It also means that your Axis foes have at their disposal heavily armoured flying saucers, huge laser turrets, and all manner of other futuristic weaponry. Fortunately, you can even the odds at frequent checkpoints, which enable you to purchase numerous upgrades.

As well as permanently upping your main auto-firing cannon’s potency, you can enable temporary enhancements such as wingmen and energy shields. There’s also the facility to install limited-use mega-weapons, such as a lightning gun or a time-slowing device.

While your plane’s weaponry appears to be from the future, its handling is almost akin to a World War I biplane.

ustaining a lot of flak

The game controls in much the same way as any other 2D shoot-‘em-ups on iPhone, with your craft moving relative to a finger’s position on the screen.

AirAttack’s admittedly attractive pseudo-3D world, though, messes this all up. As your plane moves into the screen it scales accordingly, which creates the disconcerting sense that you don’t have direct one-to-one control. It also means that your finger frequently obscures the view.

Bombing control, too, is clunky. A double-tap drops a bomb onto buildings below, but it often doesn’t seem to correlate to where you touched, leading to frequent misses. This lack of accurate feedback is fatal in a 2D shooter of this kind, and serves to undo much of the good work done elsewhere.

is like an attractive, technologically advanced fighter plane with a state of the art engine, but one that has a steering system as old as the Wright Brothers.
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 2 August 2010
An attractive and highly entertaining shooter, AirAttack is nonetheless liable to be shot down thanks to a lack of manoeuvrability
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Anonymous | 13:11 - 2 August 2010
Uh, try the alternate touch control scheme.
Anonymous | 10:18 - 2 August 2010
Got this on the Ipad last night in the HD version and love it, agree that the pseudo-3D has some minor issues like trying to shoot enemies on the edge of the screen as you shoot slightly inward away from the edges..
Otherwise I loved the experence at such a cheap price.