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Sky Combat Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on February 18, 2011


Sky Combat
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Polished gameplay; multiple control schemes and vehicles to use.
  • Alternative endless mode and single-mission mode available; replay value for high-score hunters.
  • Slick visuals; adds depth and realism to the environments.

CONS

  • Unforgiving difficulty on boat and tank levels; touching buildings/shoreline is an instant death (despite ramming vehicles larger than them).
  • Multiple tiny buttons for additional abilities can be frustrating; not always responsive or handy to use.

VERDICT

Sky Combat is a great change of pace from the usual over the top SHMUPs of late and while it doesn't have a whole lot of content, what is provided is polished and almost perfected.


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With so many shoot'em-ups (SHMUP) taking the fantasy/over-the-top bullet-hell approach of late, it's great to see a title like Sky Combat from Alien Worm and Chillingo pulling things back to a slightly more realistic level. That isn't to say Sky Combat is strictly about realism, but it treads a delicate balance that forces players to react quickly and efficiently without needing to worry about memorizing various bullet patterns.

Over the course of the short campaign you'll not only control a helicopter, but also a tank and a gun-boat (yes, I know, not exactly 'Sky Combat'). Various tilt and touch options are available, including swipe-gesture and virtual-sticks along with on-screen buttons for abilities that can be repositioned to your liking. Better still, universal 'flick' controls allow players to activate these abilities (such as dodging bullets temporarily), reducing the need to search for search for the tiny buttons on the screen.

Each level is simply gorgeous, with polished graphics that look fantastic on fourth generation devices. The level of polish is not only extended to basic things like enemies as special effects, but also to background elements to create realistic looking environments that react to vehicles driving through the terrain.

It doesn't take long to complete the campaign, however with three difficulties and the prospect of attempting to get 100% of the kills available in each level, it will keep even the most dedicated of gamers busy for a while.

Sky Combat may not pack the same crazy over-the-top madness of other recent SHMUP releases, but its refined gameplay and visuals put it head and shoulders over the vast majority of titles currently available. Definitely worth checking out.

Screenshots

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