Anyone that has had an iDevice for longer than 24 hours and has asked – what game should I get has probably been advised to get the trend setting Flight Control or its counter Harbor Master. With such revolutionary games having staying power, it’s pretty difficult for a new title to break their staunch grip on the market. Airstrike Defense by Indeeo Games has certainly submitted a worthy entry into the line drawing genre.
With much appreciated creativity, Airstrike Defense is a mission based line drawer in which one must defend by sea and attack by air. In most levels you must juggle doing both – defending and attacking – a task that becomes quite daunting by the higher missions.
Though the planes have more options available to them as in boost in speed, fire buttons and power ups, the ships were not forgotten in this area as you merely double tap the ship to get them to boost their speed to avoid being bombed by enemies. Planes also benefit from power ups as you progress through the missions and you will be grateful for the faster reload times, the multi shot ability of a squadron among other very useful attack methods.
Controls: After a few tutorial rounds, the controls could not be simpler. Draw paths for your ships twisting to avoid the mines. Similarly, draw a path for your planes to set up your attack. Fire button is intuitive, boost obvious, even switching between ships and planes is easy.
Replay Value: With its integrated OpenFeint access, you can replay individual missions to not only earn more stars for your own records, but to access global leaderboards and achievements.
Power Ups: No shortage here as mentioned with the bombers, and with each increase, your task of attacking the enemy becomes a bit easier.
Visuals: The environments are quite varied and it’s nice to maneuver your ships around islands and through mazes of mine fields. Your plane gets to fly over open water and more. A small map that shows your position as well as your enemies is simple but quite helpful. The warnings when on the air strike portion of the level that your ships are in trouble are useful when the action gets intense.
Sound: Sound and music are enjoyable, even for me who generally likes to play games on silent mode. A nice touch is the ability to control both music and sound effects, a feature all too often overlooked. Enjoy your ipod music if you wish as well.
Tutorial and Help Screen: Quicker than you can say lickity split, the developer included in this update a much improved help and tutorial screen. Since I had already played the original release and I found out much on my own by trial and error, I did not benefit from the new information added for game play and the controls. The screens sure do look sharp and are very comprehensive. I am sure this will cut down on the tough learning curve that I had experienced.
Layout of buttons: Switching the screen from attack to defend is accomplished by touching a button in the upper left corner. Right next to that button is the pause button. Sometimes I hit the pause button instead. Also when frantically trying to move ships (didn’t happen to me on the airstrike mode) from getting bombed, I found my fingers triggered the pause button as well. Though it was a welcome pause from the frenetic nature of some of these back and forth missions, it always came as a surprise.
Mission Unlock: Perhaps this is a personal gripe, but when I play a game and get frustrated with a level or might not like a level as much as others, I would like to “forget it and move on” so to speak. This update has all the tutorial levels unlocked from the start allowing you to play them at your leisure. But sometimes conquering missions out of the order the developer intended gives you greater insight on how to accomplish the missions that are giving you trouble. This is definitely a minor annoyance to me, but should not by any means influence anyone’s thoughts about the game.
Overall, Airstrike Defense is a solid line drawing game which will have you wanting to play one more round; complete one more mission. Time passes quickly whether in air or by sea and the frenetic nature of some of the missions will keep you on your toes. Though your fleet of aircraft is a mix of the past and the present, it appears each choice was made for its “fun factor.” If you have enjoyed either Flight Control or Harbor Master or any of the other line drawing games that have followed suit, you will not go wrong with giving Airstrike Defense a go.