iBomber in Review – ‘da bomb

ib11I’m one of those people who’s not tired of World War II games. I’ve played lots of them, from First Person Shooters to Air Combat and Naval based games. And I still enjoy playing games with that theme, especially ones that bring something new to the table. iBomber succeeds in doing that, at least from my experience in the genre.

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Let’s start with the graphics, which frankly looks a lot more like artwork. From the fantastic WWII bomber and side art, to the actual in-game graphics, the whole game has a great style to it. It’s almost cartoonish, but closer to what was being done in animation at the time of WWII. It’s somewhat simple, and yet at the same time so consistent – with a ‘worn’ look to your instrumentation on the screen, to the texturing of the water. It’s like an old 2D game with an extra layer of graphical polish.

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Speaking of those old 2D games, one of my initial impressions is that iBomber reminds me a little of River Raid. Sure it’s head and shoulders above that in many ways, but it’s a good comparison. It’s a little bit like a Sniper game, except you’re aiming downwards at your targets. You also have full control over your bomber, using accelerometer controls where you tilt to the side to turn, and tilt forward or back to go slower and quicker (there is no ascending or descending, you are at a fixed height above everything else).

ib8You have to account for the dropping of the bomb in your aiming, which changes depending upon the bomb you’re currently using. Some bombs drop faster, some slower, some as a spread. You have an infinite number of ‘standard’ bombs, which need some lead time when hitting a target. The other bombs are picked up when you see the icon on the screen (like a powerup when you’ve destroyed a particular building or enemy), and they have a limited supply shown on your screen. When you run out of those bombs, you automatically switch back to the ‘standard’, or if you pick up a new powerup, it replaces the one you are currently using. There are also health powerups, so you can recover from all the hits you will be taking.

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And you will be taking hits. But the good thing about this being a ‘modern’ game is with a health bar, it isn’t a ‘one hit and game over’ type situation. And on Normal difficulty, iBomber didn’t seem that hard to me, though I certainly took my share of hits and died a few times (your plane begins an uncontrolled spin to the ground). I’ve seen some concern over ‘mission 2’ being a little hard, but honestly, it may have taken me 4 or 5 tries, but I was able to clear the mission in a fair amount of time. None of the missions I’ve played so far would lead me to say that it’s too difficult or too easy.

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Speaking of that, there three missions available to start, with more opening as you beat earlier levels. There are preset mission requirements for you to complete which are given during the briefing at the beginning of each level. There are also medals which you can earn depending on how well you do in each level, giving you incentive to go back and try to get better on each mission.

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My biggest issue with air-combat games is usually control, though that’s usually confined to 3 dimensional type flying games. iBomber doesn’t have that, but I still had to adjust the tilt/turn down to zero before I felt like I could control the plane without looping this way and that. If I had been designing the game, perhaps I would have had the aiming reticule change with each new bomb you pick up, so that it would show you the time you have to release the bomb (the edge of the circle) to when it reaches the center. But honestly, none of that is worth quibbling about. I’ve really got no major complaints about iBomber, found it to be a fun ‘shooter’ and can certainly recommend grabbing it.

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App Summary
Title:iBomberDeveloper:Cobra Mobile
Price:$2.99App Size:28.5 MB
  • Multiple mission objectives
  • Incentives to go back and replay levels
  • Stylish artwork/graphics
  • Well balanced difficulty
  • Controlling the bomber can be difficult
  • Remembering the timing for each bomb

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