Across the contemporary mobile gaming landscape there is no shortage of overpriced apps that try too hard to impress with 3D imagery and booming sounds that ultimately overshadow the actual gameplay. Richard Wilson’s SkySmash 1918, however, is a fresh and, more importantly, fun change of pace.
The World War 1-era game is of the fast paced, borderline cartoonish, but still sophisticated shooting game genre that classic arcade-gamers will appreciate if not downright love from the get-go. SkySmash 1918 follows the vertical shoot ’em up formula, which can be awkward if poorly implemented with some games. Luckily, that isn’t the case here as the gameplay is well suited for such.
The $0.99 game is packed with nine increasingly difficult levels that are progressively unlocked. Littering the gameplay, as one would expect, is a healthy but not over-the-top assortment of power-ups that bestow a variety of weaponry, artillery, and fleeting moments of invincibility amidst aggressive enemy fighters.
The touch-based control functionality works well with game, which offers a real challenge when endeavoring to shoot down enemy fighters. Double-tap control is provided for use with special weapons, as well as a toggle for easier gameplay. Three modes of difficulty are offered that certainly live up to their respective designation of easy, normal and difficult.
Other standout features:
- Decent end of level bosses
- Realistic graphics
- Impressive lighting and special effects
- Atmospheric sound effects that heighten gameplay
One of the most impressive attributes of the game is how each of the nine levels could be their own game. As one progresses through the game, the objectives, appearance, and gameplay change to help renew interest and maintain a challenging gaming environment from start to finish. Unfortunately, power-ups and weapon upgrades don’t carry through from one level to the next, but at least you can always rejoin the game from any level past the previously conquered stage.
Turning the tide of World War 1 with SkySmash 1918 is as fun and engaging as any airborne Shoot Em Up game can be.
SkySmash 1918 requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.