Air Attack 2 in Review – Sorry Sky Force, You’ve Been Replaced

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So how do you make a compelling scrolling shooter that works at all the right levels?  I could list a bunch of criteria here, but I figure I’ll just make this easy for both me and you and say “give Air Attack 2 a try”.  Much like Sky Force in 2014 (and much of 2015), Air Attack 2 will be the scrolling shooter to dethrone this year.  Between the extensive single player campaign and several special runs that allow you to compete against other players around the world, Air Attack 2 has plenty of game play to keep you busy.  And, while you might have to fly some missions over and over again to achieve all the goals, you’ll never get bored doing so.  If this is your type of game then you’ll want Air Attack 2 on your device right now.

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The thing about scrolling shooters is that no matter how detailed a story you try to give them, in the end all that matters is how effectively you can fly around blowing away everything in sight.  Just like its predecessor, Air Attack 2 makes sure this banal desire is front and center every time you fly a mission.  While you can’t blow up absolutely everything in the game, all the major bases are covered.  Want to destroy a building?  Go for it.  Feeling extremely ornery?  Take out a buoy or a streetlamp.  My personal favorite is dropping a bomb on a bridge to derail the oncoming train.  Of course none of this reflects how I am in real life, but that’s the whole point of games like this, right?

Anyway, the game has two main components: a multi-stage campaign and competitive missions.  If I’m counting correctly there are at least 20 missions in the campaign.  To move on to the next mission you must complete the current one, but to truly beat a mission you must complete the three goals.  The goals primarily revolve around destroying a certain number of something, though other goals might include achieving a certain score or collecting a designated number of silver stars.  Whatever the case is, most of these goals will require a deliberate effort to complete, and unless you’re an extremely skilled player you’ll need to play through these missions several times to finish everything.  The competitive missions are one off events where your score is ranked against anyone else playing the event.  The events last a day, and at the end of the 24 hour period you receive a reward based on how you ranked against other players.

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Controlling your plane is a simple matter of dragging your finger around the screen.  There is no tilt option, but the control works so smoothly I’m not sure it is necessary.  To drop a bomb you tap the screen, and to activate certain weapons you tap their corresponding icons at the bottom of the screen.  At times you’ll also switch to rear gunner mode, at which point you’ll just drag the crosshairs of the tail gun around the screen targeting anything you want to destroy.  During the course of play you’ll be able to collect stars which allow you to level up and coins that you can use to upgrade your plane.  There are four additional planes you can unlock using silver bars which are earned by defeating end bosses and leveling up, as well as reaching certain milestones on special runs and earning some achievements.  Overall there are plenty of ways to get rewarded and a lot of game play to keep you busy.

The game looks fabulous.  Everything is extremely well designed, and the detail can often distract you from your tasks.  Drop a bomb and watch nearby trees sway from the force of the explosion.  Buildings actually collapse when they are hit, and decimated planes (including your own) spiral to the ground when they’ve lost the battle.  I remember the original Air Attack being pretty sharp looking, but I’d say they actually upped the ante on this one.  The superb soundtrack does an excellent job of complementing the game play.  It sounds like music you might hear while watching an epic war movie, which is exactly what this game deserves.  The sound effects are nothing special, but at least they don’t get on your nerves like noises in this type of game sometimes can.

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We’ve been lucky to get a handful of really solid scrolling shooters on the iOS platform, and it seems like once a year we get one that rises above the rest.  Technically this game was released in December of 2015, and I realize it is way too early in the year to tell, but I have a good feeling that Air Attack 2 will be the leader of the pack in 2016.  And if it’s not, I can’t wait to see what will be.

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App Summary
Title: AirAttack 2Developer: Art In Games
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req: iOS 8.0
Price:$2.99App Size:318.60MB
  • A ton of fun game play
  • Incredible visuals
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Sometimes mission objectives don’t seem to complete correctly

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