Airstrike Defense in Review – Pearl harbour all over again

The line drawing genre is exalting with a second coming: a wave of new entries at the App Store. These holy droves strive to fall away from the basic (and often copied) gameplay of Flight Control (TMA Review). And one of such innovative games is Airstrike Defense – a cross between an old-school top-down bombing game and an equally old-school attack evasion with line-drawing controls replacing the outdated Virtual D-Pad. Feel free to discuss this review of Airstrike Defense in our forums.

Airstrike Defense is a top-down line drawing game that is actually two completely different games moulded into one. On one hand you control an F-14 fighter/bomber aircraft and have to destroy enemy ships and subs before they move off the screen. On the other hand you take control of the similar ships and have to guide them to safety evading islands, mines and incoming bombers. These two modes are seamlessly integrated making for an interesting and original experience.

First, about the bombing part – with your trusty F-14 under your finger-tracing command, you have to search and destroy any enemy ships to complete the mission. The plane is controlled by tracing a path for it to follow, though it’s made a bit more challenging by the fact the view is centered on it. The bomb is dropped by pushing the big red button and the place it will hit is conveniently indicated by the plane’s shadow. You can also kick-in the afterburners if you see some pesky ships escaping, though there is only a limited amount of fuel for that. As you advance you collect points that can be used to call in a squadron of F-14s or heavy bomber to really wreck destruction.

In the attack-evade mode your ships enter the battlefield from designated entry points and you have to guide them to the exit marked by green buoys. The ships vary in size and speed, from the small and quick attack boats to the huge battlecruisers and submarines. To make your job even harder, mines are often scattered across the open waters and enemy fighters do their best to make short work of your fleet. For an extra leg up you can double tap on your ships to give them a short extra boost to escape the onslaught. And of course you control them by tracing a path for each ship individually.

While playing the two modes individually is challenging on its own, the real craziness begins once you hit a mission where you have to manage both switching modes on the fly. To make things a bit easier the game alerts you when your ships are in danger (the enemies come in waves). Other than that though, you’re on your own.

The graphics are pleasantly detailed and look very nice. The music is not anything spectacular, but I would still advise to play with sound at least on the mixed levels since it’s very easy to miss the incoming alarm otherwise. The performance is excellent on the 3G iPhone, so kudos to the developers.

Airstrike Defense gives the impressions of an extremely polished product and the innovative gameplay will keep you glued to the iPhone for hours. The seamless mix of two completely opposite game modes and the excellent use of line-drawing controls really makes Airstrike Defense stand out of the crown of the many Flight Control rip-offs.

With this I declare Airstrike Defense officially touched!

App Summary
Title: AirStrike Defense Developer: Indeeo, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 19.9 MB
  • Innovative gameplay mixing two opposite modes
  • Nice detailed graphics
  • Openfeint support
  • Good use of line-drawing mechanics
  • The music could be better
  • A storyline to support the campaign
  • Incoming bomber alarm can easily be missed


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