Too few games make use of the steampunk aesthetic, a combination of futuristic science fiction and old-timey gears and crankshafts. Blimp absolutely nails the visual style and storyline of steampunk, and the orchestral music that envelops each stage is some of the best we’ve heard on the iPhone. If only the game went a bit deeper and took more risks, Blimp would be an absolute must-play.
The premise of Blimp is very simple. You are pilot Zed Pelin, and your planet is preparing for war against an alien army. You have three main tasks as a pilot: transport scientists, soldiers, and other passengers, collect necessary wartime materials, and bomb enemy targets like tanks and blimps.
Oh, the humanity!
Each of the twenty levels requires some combination of these goals, and a few stages offer unique objectives like planting bombs or deploying paratroopers. Since the three main tasks require similar maneuvering, whether it’s positioning your blimp above an enemy target or picking up a box of weapon components that’s floating in mid-air, you won’t feel like you’re doing different things through most of the game.
Fortunately, it’s a snap to get into pilot mode. Like the recent game Graviton, you control your airship by tilting to the left or right, but in Blimp you have one button to raise the blimp and one button to drop bombs directly below. The levels are all tightly confined, and your tasks will send you back and forth multiple times as you shuttle passengers or locate items. A helpful arrow directs you to your next goal, and often your biggest challenge is not figuring out where to go next, but instead beating the clock or avoiding too much damage from hitting walls.
This gameplay isn’t particularly memorable, but it is backed up by some of the best production values we’ve seen for this type of simple game. The music is appropriately rich for the intriguing story, and the backgrounds look like painted vistas compared to the average videogame scenery.
The end title in Blimp promises that “the Saga continues” and we’re hoping the next iteration of this promising game offers even more depth, exploration, and variety. Flying around in a zeppelin is fun but a bit too calming, especially since there is a war going on. Hopefully in Blimp 2 we’ll get to see much more action in this world.