Tag Archives: Flight Simulation

Sky Racer Review: Missing the Race

At first glance, the idea of racing opponents through twelve different sky tracks sounds great, but Sky Racer seems to be missing something. More a flight simulator than a racing game, the casual gamer will find little if he comes looking for an arcade style flight fix. There is no head-to-head racing, and the only competitive component is besting your own previous times. It’s too bad. The game looks good, but it doesn’t live up to its own name.

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Graphics: The 3-D visual presentation of this simulator is certainly above average for the iPhone. Even though the scenery is bit ho-hum, the visual differences in time and weather are a nice touch. Also, the runway lights at night are gorgeous.

Variety: Customized weather settings and five different plane choices add both replay value and depth to the game.

Controls: As with most flight games in the app store, the accelerometer is used to steer, but where Sky Racer excels is in the variant subtleties of each plane. Some reach altitude easily while others seem to put along as they labor to get higher and higher. These differences seem legit based on the technologies inherent in each aircraft. This feature is attractive for those who enjoy who enjoy realism in their fliers.

Dislikes

Learning curve: As with most simulators, the game requires a base knowledge of flight mechanics in order to perform basic maneuvers like taking off and landing. This would be fine if the game came with some sort of tutorial. Even though the optional auto pilot and onscreen hints help, the learning curve may be a bit steep for the average gamer.

Buggy: Although the physics engine driving this game is solid, the folks at Warelex seems to have dropped the ball when it comes to finesse. Case in point: players must start a new game in order to play subsequent tracks even if they successfully completed previous ones. Also upon safely landing, your plane sometimes appears stuck nose-up on the landing strip for no apparent reason. This lack of polish doesn’t kill the game, but it is a distraction.

Taken as a stunt flier, Sky Racer is good, but declaring it a racing title is a stretch. Hopefully an update will fix the bugs and include some sort of head-to-head racing option as the name suggests. Serious flight fans will probably want to check this title out, but the rest of us can leave this one in the hangar.

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Sky Racer was developed by Warelex LLC and is currently available for the sale price of $0.99; the regular price is $2.99. This game was reviewed at version 1.0 on a iPod Touch 2G equipped with the 3.1.1 OS.

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Above & Beyond Air Combat Out Now, Win Yourself a Copy!

Combat flight game Above & Beyond Air Combat is now available at the starting sale price of $2.99. The games comes to us from Josh Rosen of Axios Games, who has a previously released flying title called Sci Fly: Dogfight.  Fans of flying games that lean more to the arcade side should feel right at home with this release.

Above & Beyond brings over 60 islands to play on, and twelve aircrafts that are customizable.  There are also fifteen weapons to equip your fighter with.  You can play the game through three modes: Gauntlet, Survival, and Conquest, where the latter has you playing through all the levels mentioned earlier.  Daniel had a thorough hands on with this release, and found the amount of detail throughout the game very impressive.

If you’d like to get your hands on Above & Beyond Air Combat, we have one copy to give away!  Leave a message in the topic on the forums and one random poster will be sent a copy.  Good luck on winning, and check Above & Beyond out on the app store.

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Price Is Going Down F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T., Fleet Air Superiority Training, is having another sale: from $3.99 all the way down to $1.99.  If you haven’t gotten this yet, I suggest you to grab it at this sale price.  The game first came out with a $9.99 price tag, but recent price drops have brought it down to the petty price of $1.99.

If you’ve been living in a cave for a month, F.A.S.T. is a highly rated online dogfighting game against other people around the world or against your buddies using bluetooth.  There is also a single player mode for those without the Internet or friends.  Graphics are smoothly done, all in 3D, and the screenshots do not lie.  There are 10 different types of ships and 30 single player missions to accomplish.

Again, if you haven’t bought this game yet, I suggest you to grab it now before it’s too late.  The description describes the sale as a “4th of July” sale, 80% off the original price, but let’s see how long this sale really lasts.  A side note: bluetooth is only available for iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 2G.

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Top Gun Review: Loving the Danger Zone

It seems a bit strange that we’re seeing a new Top Gun movie based game, decades after the movie’s original release. Could it be that publishers have run out of movies to license? Of course not, but thankfully for you and me, we’re left with a flying shooter that turns out to be a lot of fun.

Top Gun pits you in an on-rails jet fighter shooter.  As the pilot of a jet, you control the movement of the plane around the screen by tilting the iDevice.  Shooting is done by touching the screen to either fire missiles or plain bullets.  The full area of the screen is divided into an invisible grid of nine equally sized spaces.  A warning will pop up in one or more of those areas when a missile is approaching, and then you’ll have a second to get out of that space.  It gets challenging when 8 out of the 9 areas are danger zones, or at times even all of them have a danger sign.  While dodging and weaving through these danger areas, you need to shoot down enemy planes by locking onto them and firing.  The game is broken down into ten independent missions.  Let’s take a further look at how the gameplay pans out.

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Smooth moves: Top Gun runs very smoothly, and from a full playthrough I didn’t see any slowdowns. Even when there were explosions happening, several enemies flying around on screen, and danger warnings popping up all over, the game ran smoothly.  Your jet also performs very convincingly.  When you tilt sharply, your plane does rolls around the screen, as opposed to just leaning to one side.

Music: The soundtrack features fully licensed songs that will put you back in an 80’s kind of mind.  When Danger Zone starts playing, and you’re flying around with actual danger zones on the screen, it’s a great experience.  Just don’t start humming it too loud in public.

Easter Eggs: The hidden features here are a lot of fun.  By entering different pilot names when you play, you can unlock a couple of different things.  One turns your jet into a car from Days of Thunder, complete with you wearing racing gear during cutscenes.  Another has you flying what looks like a fighter plane from Star Wars.  And the funniest one, entering “Volleyball” as your name starts a volleyball game between Iceman and Maverick’s heads.  Seriously.  That’s awesome in my book.

Dislikes

Not enough missions: I was hoping for a little more than the given ten missions.  It passes the time, but at least an extra 5 levels would have been nice.  Ten seems too short, and I wanted to keep playing more.

Corny Dialogue: Cutscenes, which consisted of reading text, were not that interesting and were a loose tie between missions.  The dialogue was also pretty cheesy as well.  One line had a pilot saying the situation was about to get hairy.  Another pilot responded saying he liked hairy, but not on women.  Lines like that lead me to skip through a lot of the remaining dialogue.

I had a great time playing through Top Gun.  The game ran really smoothly, and it kept up enough of a challenge to keep me interested.  I found myself wanting to continue the progression of game and finish unlocking all the levels.  If you like flying planes or flying shooters, you’ll have a lot of fun with Top Gun.

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Top Gun was developed by Freeverse and is available for $3.99.  I played through version 1.0 on an iPod Touch 2G.

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