Aera Review: Prepare for Smooth Landing

iChromo recently released Aera for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the game can be described as a 2.5D flying/dogfighting simulator.  But that’s not all, Aera is also a side-scroller meaning you can only move in one straight line.  It’s a difficult concept to grasp with the graphics in this shape, but it’s definitely a thought you get used to more and more while playing the game.

Likes

Visuals: Visuals are probably some of the best I’ve ever seen for an iPhone game, and it runs very smoothly on my first generation iPhone.  If you don’t think this looks good, I don’t know what you’re talking about at all because Aera has got to be one of the best looking games out there for my iPhone.  If you haven’t seen any of the screenshots yet, just check below and behold the beauty.

Controls: I’ll have to be honest with you, I really didn’t like the controls in the beginning.  It seems like the default control method is a little bit off for most people, and inverting them makes the experience a lot better.  It took some time getting used to, but after a while, the controls started to appeal to me a lot.  It would have been nice if there was an option for some onscreen buttons, but the current method is definitely playable.

KINO: This is probably one of the cooler features in Aera, and after every level, you are able to watch a replay in KINO mode.  There’s really no reason to put this feature in as I’ve never seen this feature in any other dogfighter game, but it’s definitely a feature that I like to watch.  If you’re a person like me that loves watching awesome replays, you’ll be watching KINO mode more than playing the actual game.

Variety: The missions for each level/stage is very diverse from shooting down an enemy plane to collecting a certain amount of balloons in a certain amount of time.  There are also races to complete in a certain amount of time, and the variety makes it so that the gamer doesn’t get too bored.  I was immersed into the game right from the start, and the variety kept me playing and playing.

Dislikes

Steep Learning Curve: The game takes a while getting used to, and I didn’t even pass the tutorial until 2 hours later.  Collecting 100 balloons in under 2 minutes 10 seconds was a task that seemed quite impossible to me when the controls felt inverted, and I would find myself flying off track.  After I started to get used to the game, it was smooth flying from there.

Aera is definitely a weird concept to behold, but one that is enjoyable and provides a fresh new take on the dogfighting genre.  While it’s definitely not a F.A.S.T. or a Metal Sun, Aera provides more of a relaxing experience along with some intense fighting sequences.  The visuals are very well done, and the overall design of the game is flawless along with some great controls.  The steep learning curve may be a turn off for some, but I suggest you keep at it until you finally get used to the game.

buy

Aera was developed by iChromo, and I played through version 1.0 on my 1st generation iPhone.  The price is $2.99.

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About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

One thought on “Aera Review: Prepare for Smooth Landing

  1. I just downloaded this last night and have to agree with the review 100%. It takes a minute to come to grips with the controls, but once you do, you almost forget it’s 2d…err, 2.5d, and it starts feeling very open. I like it alot and it has been bumped up to my first page of games. Plus, I saw a post by the developer saying that there were more levels and modes in the works for a future update. Nice.

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