The year is 1907. 50 years earlier a scientist, no doubt with a sweet mustache, discovered cold fusion. Lo and behold, at the turn of the century, there are fully functional airplanes. Over the course of 15 levels, and 5 bonus levels, you have to re-fight the WWII air war. The action is turn based. You select the path of your plane over the course of 2 seconds or so. In addition to this, every plane has certain power ups, be that speed, protection, acid gas or a 180 degree turn. You are often outnumbered, out gunned and outflanked.
Technically, this game is one of the best out there. You have to think tactically on the small scale and then strategically, considering where your plane will be in 5 turns. All the controls are done through the mouse. Although, you can use the arrow keys to select individual airplanes, a feature which I found to be very, very useful later on in the game.
The pacing of the game is incredibly well done. You have 1 or 2 tutorial levels and then it gets progressively harder from then on. The game keeps finding newer and harder ways to test your skills as a 2D pilot. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in the last level. It took me the longest, but it was by no means the hardest battle.
I really hope that Andy Moore, the creator, expands this concept to have giant air battles. OH MAN that would be awesome. I only found a few bugs. If you flew off of the edge of the screen, you died; and sometimes, like once or twice, I couldn’t select the special options. All told, all the action was smooth, and the physics are surprisingly in depth.
What really put this game over the top, however, was the artwork. This game has a real steampunk vibe, without distracting you from your mission. You fly over an olive green topographical map and your planes bank and puff out smoke when you’ve been hit. If you’re hit, sometimes your rudders are jammed and you can only fly forwards. Easily as much effort was put into the design as into the gameplay, which is something I value in games.
|Awesome steampunk air battles. Pew Pew Pew!|