Apple used the previous Sky Gamblers game, Air Supremacy, to push the features of the iPad 3, and it was a technological marvel and solid game no matter the platform. The sequel lacks the Namco Bandai name, but still carries all the qualities the series has become known for. Taking the action back in time to World War II, Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders offers great aerial action both on and offline.
As expected, the visuals are terrific and the game is filled to the brim with great special effects, detailed plane models, and massive maps to fly over. The six missions of the single player campaign are huge and multi-tiered. In fact, they go on for a bit too long, especially for a mobile game, and we wish the developer had divided them up into smaller chunks. The lack of any voiceovers seems like a step backward as well, as all dialogue and mission briefings are text only.
Take the fight to the skies.
Storm Raiders offers all the classic missions types players expect from this sort of game. Dog fighting and protecting targets is the focal point, and the European landscape is full of Axis threats from the land, sea, and air. Combat over familiar cities is especially thrilling, and the variety of planes to fly and fight is impressive.
Most impressive, however, is the support of Apple tech. Storm Raiders is entirely iOS centric and takes advantage of Game Center, AirPlay, and iCloud. You can play it on a TV through Apple TV and the game saves to the cloud, so progress isn’t limited to one device. More importantly, the online multiplayer is terrific.
It’s pilot-killing time.
A huge variety of game modes are included: team and free-for-all deathmatches, CTF, Last Man Standing, free flight, and the new Assault mode come standard. The game uses Game Center for finding matches, sending invites to friends, and even voice chat. Without a doubt, Sky Gamblers provides a complete package for fans of multiplayer.
The other secret to the game’s success is the control options. Casual players can use a simple virtual D-pad layout, allowing them a fighting chance against more experienced players. Advanced players can use gyroscopic controls and multiple on-screen buttons, making the game feel close to a hardcore flight simulator. However, we did find that the virtual pad sometimes felt unresponsive, which caused some issues.
ï¿¼For fans of the series and the genre in general, Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is an easy recommendation. The WWII setting is great, the action is intense, and the multiplayer options are extensive. The game looks terrific and offers plenty of options to support both hardcore flyers and casual players. It also sports enough bells and whistles to make it a primo game to show off.