Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders Review
Take to the skies on your iPhone or iPad and fly the major air battles of World War II with Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders
Flight combat titles have all but disappeared in recent years. It can be attributed to the stagnation of new ideas, but also a gradual wane in the genre’s general popularity. Atypical Games has used this period though to really reinvigorate the niche, bringing multiple mission types and a tiered control scheme that allows almost anyone, from button-bashers to aviation enthusiasts, to be immersed once again behind the joystick.
The single-player campaign is set during World War 2, allowing you to take part in either the Battle of Britain or Asia-Pacific conflict. The vast oceans and idyllic rolling countryside echoes the time period perfectly, although most of your objectives lack historical accuracy or context. It’s really not necessary though, as once you’ve blasted through the initial tutorials, the frantic and engaging combat takes centre stage.
The control scheme is as complex or accessible as you need it to be. For beginners, it’s possible to control authentic Spitfires and Hurricanes using an on-screen control pad, coupled with an aiming assist to help you nail the next wave of enemies. For fans of hyper realistic flight simulators though, Storm Raiders also has a setup that will allow you to use the iPhone’s intricate gyroscope, as well as an array of levers and dials, for managing your altitude and speed.
It’s an innovative approach which manages to display a whole host of flight information on screen without ever obscuring or disrupting the action.
Despite the game’s touchscreen ingenuity, it’s all too easy for the experience to unravel in the midst of a firefight. While enemies bank with acrobatic precision, you’re left fighting with both the aiming reticule and directional controls as you chase them around and around. Likewise, missing a crucial target during a flyby can be tiresome and finicky, forcing you to bank back around and line up the dials again before making another approach.
Storm Raiders is very expansive though. Alongside the main campaign is a host of quick match options, including classic game types such as Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch. It’s also possible to unlock dozens of different planes, such as the P-51 Mustang or F6F Hellcat, as well as different sorties to try them out on.
The robust menu structure and high production values carry over to a comprehensive multiplayer suite, which can be played seamlessly over Wi-Fior online. Together, it marks an impressive comeback for the genre.
Absorbing campaigns and intuitive controls make this flight sim soar.
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