Air Force vs Luftwaffe Review

By , on May 11, 2011

Air Force vs Luftwaffe
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Tight tilt controls; responsive, natural physics makes it easy to play.
  • Unlockable classic planes.
  • Randomly generated levels based on personal preferences.
  • 'Kids' mode; friendlier gameplay for younger gamers.


  • Rough visual design; poor menu design, odd graphic glitches like upside-down planes.
  • Serious progression glitch; forced to restart the campaign a couple times.


Air Force vs Luftwaffe tries to push side-scrolling dogfighter in a new direction, adding a bit more realism in to the proceedings, but its rough execution makes it hard to enjoy for long.

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Although we've been here before, side-scrolling dogfighting sims aren't exactly floating around in a huge supply and while games like MiniSquadron ruled the roost in the past, Air Force vs Luftwaffe by Bitmen Studios tries to help the genre grow-up.

Injecting a bit of realism in to the proceedings helps immensely as each plane smoothly tumbles and turns its way around the screen, responding to the tilt and touch controls crisply. Acceleration is also affected by gravity, causing planes to stall if they pull up too high, while giving a speed boost to those diving towards the ground. Buttons scattered around the screen provide access to your weaponry including a slow-firing machine-gun, unguided missiles, bombs as well an evasive dodge that also acts as a kind of air-brake, giving you a chance to maneuver larger planes with greater effectiveness.

Diving in to the Allied or Axis campaign allows players to slowly unlock additional planes while upgrading those they have available, with missions varying from simply defending from fighters to performing bombing runs against enemy targets. Unfortunately there's not enough real variation to keep things compelling enough to stick around. The AI manages to get smarter without simply cheating, but ultimately, regardless of where you are the challenge remains the same: stay alive while shooting down your enemies. The numbers may change, but it's hard to stay motivated after a while.

Air Force vs Luftwaffe isn't without its charms though and it's great to see developers considering broader audiences, including a 'kid' mode that removes some of the realism in favor of enjoying the game directly and a 'practice' mode that generates levels randomly based on parameters set by the player adding a replay value that's hard to beat.

Sadly Air Force vs Luftwaffe is more than simply rough around the edges, making it hard to recommend to all but those pining for something new in the dogfighting scene.


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