Though the traditional saying claims that the best things in life are free, the person who coined that phrase may just change their mind once they get their hands on Air Striker by Paul Katzoff. This application, designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch, appears in the App Store under the guise of a newfangled game that integrates online game play with the player’s GPS location. At least that’s all one can deduce from the store’s description, anyway.
When you start up Air Striker, you will be asked whether you’d like the application to automatically pinpoint your exact location. (For your sake, be sure to accept.) After your coordinates have processed, you will be greeted by your typical Google map, including a tack pinned right to your location. This tab, also referred to as the Radar page, may be viewed in either standard, satellite or hybrid mode. (If you zoom in far enough while on hybrid mode, you see the Google Earth view of your street. The simple fact that I’m suggesting you do this should be a great indication as to the direction in which this review is headed.)
Move all the way to the right in the bottom navigation bar and you will fond the My Profile button, which sounds potentially useful. However, you come upon a brick wall when you attempt to enter your user name, squad and quote, only to realize you have no idea what good said information will do as it sits there serving no purpose whatsoever.
The middle button, or the Random page, seems the most promising of all the pages, but quickly fails to redeem this application. Users will find a map with a different location every time then return to the page. Here, users are assigned a spot in some of the most obscure corners of the earth, where one can only assume there to be someone else just as perplexed as they are as they, too, try to figure out the trick behind Air Strike. Tap all over the screen, maybe even violently, but nothing will happen. Once again, you are simply left to gaze at and explore another Google map.
Based on the vague App Store description, one still gets the impression that they should be able to attack these mysterious, pinpoint enemies, yet the only one fighting for survival is the game’s existence in general. In fact, referring to Air Strike as a game is extremely generous considering you do nothing of the sort. If you’re not going to include gaming instructions, then cater to the intuitive. Wasting time (and vast amounts of battery life) zooming in and out on a map does not count as entertaining game play. Thank goodness this application comes as a free download. Though, with all the time one wastes (all to inevitably learn that they are wasting time), perhaps the developer should pay us as a way to compensate the misled customer for their time.
Air Striker [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.