Games are a great way to teach children the most important lessons in life. When forced to study, learning becomes nothing more than an act of memorization. Whatever one absorbs at the time shall simply be regurgitated later, only to be forgotten soon after. Mundane methods lead to an adult population that seems uninformed, in need of a few refresher courses of their own. However, Air Battle of Britain by Simviu Technology Inc integrates one of World War II’s most poignant battles with a first person shooter game, mixing history with the fun of a fighter pilot simulation to teach gamers of any age about the horrors and truths of war.
At the beginning, you will find a black page featuring a few buttons to the right of the screen: Sound On/Off, Music On/Off, Skip Intro and Continue. Tap Continue to watch the introduction video about the Battle of Britain, which provides the historical background for the game you are about to play. The main menu (accompanied by the game’s dramatic music) will appear once the video has finished.
Once again, along the right side of the screen, you will find all the important buttons: Campaign, Missions, Help, Setting, History and About. The Help button will teach you what all the meters indicate and what each button does. (For more in depth instructions on how to play, click here.) The Settings button allows users to adjust their accelerometer’s calibration and sensitivity or turn it off altogether, as well as turn the sound effects and music on or off. The History button links to the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Britain. As the first major campaign fought entirely in the air, the German Luftwaffe battled the British RAF from July 10 to September 15, 1940. But be prepared, for this entry requires 171 iPhone screens to present all the info, so it may take a while to sift through everything. The About button, of course, simply features the credits.
Both Campaign and Missions begin with an explanation of the first fight in this long battle. Campaign will take you through the entire game, while Missions breaks each chunk into separate, unlockable portions of the battle itself. With five pages worth of listed missions, Air Battle of Britain promises to provide enough game play to simulate the entire months-long battle.
However, users should be forewarned. With the realistic, 360 degree flight control simulation, controlling your plane can become quite difficult whether the accelerometer is on or not. While many will surely learn how to handle their plane with enough practice, those who naturally become motion sick will find Air Battle of Britain to be dizzying and disorienting, much like if they were on an actual flight. This ability to pitch and roll can leave you soaring upside down unintentionally, with no idea which way you should be facing. While I applaud the realism, perhaps the game should come with some sort of disclaimer for those who’d rather not go cross-eyed in the process.
Click here to view the YouTube video demonstration of the application’s iPad version.
Air Battle of Britain [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.