Sky Gamblers: Cold War, the latest airborne combat game from Atypical Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring aircraft from the post-WWII/Cold War era, a short campaign, plenty of multiplayer options, and a few neat surprises, Sky Gamblers: Cold War provides yet another combat sim that gets the job done without standing out.
Sky Gamblers: Cold War Pros:
- Detailed aircraft and environments; working instrument panels add realism
- Generic militaristic soundtrack plays over menus
- Accelerometer and joystick controls for plane movements; buttons ring the screen for easy access
- Plenty of game modes to enjoy in single-player and multiplayer
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
Sky Gamblers: Cold War Cons:
- Lackluster sound effects
- Difficult to get clean shots at enemies, even when locked on
- Doesn’t set itself apart much from previous iterations
Sky Gamblers: Cold War provides plenty of game modes to keep players busy, including a 12-mission Campaign, a dozen dogfight scenarios, Survival mode, Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Defend the Base, Fire Fight, and Last Man Standing. Despite providing all of these modes as single-player options against AI bots, the multiplayer is always the big draw, allowing you to take on human opponents via local or online wi-fi. It’s a lot more satisfying taking out your buddies in the unfriendly skies than blowing up AI opponents. There are 17 planes to unlock and use through the course of play, with each having its own specific attributes. Gameplay is much like previous Sky Gamblers offerings, providing homing missiles and machine guns to take down enemy aircraft, as well as chafe to confuse incoming missiles. You can control the speed of your aircraft easily, and there are additional on-screen buttons to handle camera angles and the like. An auto-pilot function gives you the ability to focus on combat and let the game take control of your flight path. There are other cool options that give you the ability to take off and land your aircraft, as well as missions that require you to take pictures of targets rather than trying to blow them up.
Graphically, the game looks pretty sharp, with nice detail in both the planes and the locales. Environments include Mountain Pass, Jungle Heat, Deep Freeze, Factory, and Cold Water. The framerate is smooth and the animations rarely stuttered. There are day/night effects and weather changes that add some realism to the game, while little details like working cockpit instruments go the extra mile in attempting to immerse you in the game. The soundtrack only plays over the menus, offering some generic militaristic tones to put you in the mood. The sound effects are average at best, though they could have been better. Engine noise, beeping alarms, and explosions also provide audible feedback. The controls are pretty simple, providing either joystick or accelerometer control over your jets. On-screen buttons ring the screen, giving you quick and easy control over all aspects of the game, though their smallish size makes it easy to mis-hit them in the heat of battle.
Replay value is very good, as the plethora of game modes keeps things fresh and interesting. GameCenter integration provides leaderboards and achievements to earn, while iCloud support ensures that you can pick-up-and-play from any of your devices without losing progress. A universal app for $4.99, Sky Gamblers: Cold War is a 3.5-Dimple app.
Sky Gamblers: Cold War Review,