The iPhone platform has shown that new game genres are still to be discovered. One of the most surprising uses of the multitouch screen for the last year, which has created a strong trend, is line drawing games. The success of Flight Control (downloaded over a million times
) has been followed by games with different luck: Harbor Master, Harbor Havoc 3D, 33rd Division just to name some.
AirStrike Defense [iTunes Link
] is the first game by Indeeo
that brings line drawing to a new level. In a war scenario you are the commander of the air and naval troops to face the incoming waves of enemies. You will have to set the track of your aircraft and fleet to avoid obstacles, mines, enemies to complete the missions. From bombing enemies to crossing a dangerous zone with al your fleet, the game is varied and has some strategy elements.
The gameplay is simple yet enjoyable. Draw the course of your ship dragging your finger to the destination. Boats can also use reverse if you draw from their back. a double tap will give them the necessary boost to go faster and avoid dangerous spots that are being bombed by the enemy. Colliding with land or your own sea units will damage the ship, so be careful! Unlike Flight Control, you can continue and rectify the maneuver when to ships crash, but it can be a deadly error.
The battlefield is not limited to the boundaries of your screen (think of Harbor Master= but you can scroll to see what's happening elsewhere. In this sense, it reminds of PC strategy games like Command&Conquer, whereyou could take your troops to a place in the map and direct them to the "hot spots". The bigger maps work great and make AirStrike Defense more than a line drawing game.
"You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. Albert Einstein"
Your army also counts with aircraft that can be operated in a similar mode. The boost lasts much longer and it helps you to get to distant areas in the maps before the enemy is too close to your base. The air units canattack dropping bombs as they flight over the enemy ships. The game preserves the aerial third person perspective, unlike other iPhone titles like iBomber with a first person view. It allows you to see all the detail of the plane and a red aim or shadow will let you know the impact point. I found this the most enjoyable aspect of the game, since you only control one unit at a time and can plan your strategy and bombing waves to crunch those ships.
The game counts with different air units that you can "invoke" during the battle. Starting with a F-14 Tomcat, you can move on to squadrons and bombing planes like the B2 Stealth Bomber. Yes, bigger plane means more bombs!
The climax of AirStrike Defense is the battle mode, where you have to command fleet and attack with planes at the same time. There is a handy switch to change the control screens, virtually taking you to twoperspectives of the battle. For me it is a proof that iPhone gaming can be highly innovative if its build on successful titles expanding gameplay. Indeeo should be proud to have developed such a simple and yet addictive title.
AirStrike Defense is definitely recommended to any strategy or war game that is doubting about the capability of the iPhone. Fun, easy to pick up, varied missions and no time limits will put this game in the charts for a long time. If this could only have multiplayer… don't get me started, it is OpenFeint enabled. I hope new updates introduce more multiplayer options with skirmish mode, even if it's only on WiFi.