Beautiful graphics, sound define Air Attack iPhone game

Aug 1, 2010
Games

AirAttack (99 cents) is the best-looking, best-sounding game I’ve ever encountered on the iPhone.The top-down World War II airplane shooter pits your Allied fighter plane against all kinds of aircraft in the Nazi war machine – including huge zeppelins, stealth bombers and flying saucers.  In all, it’s standard fare for the vertical shooter genre, made […]

AirAttack (99 cents) is the best-looking, best-sounding game I’ve ever encountered on the iPhone.The top-down World War II airplane shooter pits your Allied fighter plane against all kinds of aircraft in the Nazi war machine – including huge zeppelins, stealth bombers and flying saucers.  In all, it’s standard fare for the vertical shooter genre, made up of elements common to shooters like Space Invaders.

Where developer Art in Games’ offering stands out is in the quality of presentation. AirAttack features orchestral music that sounds like it could be out of a Hollywood blockbuster and graphics so good, one might think they were out of the iPhone’s class.

And it packs a variety of control schemes, as well as other customizable settings that allow for much-needed customization. Touch screen, tilt and virtual joystick controls each have their own feel and advantages. Upon discovering one that works especially well with a certain play style, AirAttack becomes a lot more fun.

The only thing that holds AirAttack back is its difficulty. The game is challenging — and that’s not necessarily bad — but it seems designed to be overly-hard, like an arcade cabinet from 1988 begging for more quarters. More often than not, the plane is just too big to dodge enemy fire. There’s no recourse except to hope those bullets don’t send you spiraling into the German countryside.

A more slow-to-build and rewarding difficulty system would help make losing feel less like the result of a series of cheap shots.

But even so, for just 99 cents, AirAttack is a steal.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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