Saturday, December 8, 2012

Air Patriots Review



Amazon game studios was introduced and launched their first game “Living Classics” for Facebook back in August of 2012. In November Amazon followed up with their first Mobile App, Air Patriots. I've been playing through the different maps and seeing what the game brings to the table. Amazon is already a part of my every day life. Can they break through into the game development world and become even a greater part of that life?


Air Patriots can be best described as a tower defense game with planes. Instead of towers the player will purchase planes that patrol the map and destroy the enemy lines of tanks which follow predetermined roads through the map. Usually there are two roads through the map which the tanks follow. There are different types of tanks with different abilities. Some will have shields that cannot be broken through by machine gun fire, some will be extremely fast, or some will be susceptible to napalm. The player will need to use the appropriate planes(biplanes, napalm bombers, jets, etc) that can defeat what the enemy is throwing at them. If the player just uses bombers, eventually the tanks will make it to the end of the map. A good assortment of planes is the key to victory.

Unlike most tower defense games where your defense is stationary, planes are obviously flying through the air in different directions. You can utilize the touch screen to set paths for your planes to avoid them crashing into each other. This also allows the planes to patrol a specific path. If the planes crash into each other they lose all preset pathing and go off in random directions. It gets a bit repetitive setting paths as some planes are slightly slower or faster then others so inevitably you will have them run into each other. As you destroy enemy columns they will drop a gear which is the in game currency for the free planes and the free maps.

Towards the end of a map the playing field can have many planes on it. I played the game for hours on my galaxy note with it’s 5.3” screen. The game is definitely beautiful and the colors pop. However, I’m not sure playing this on a small screen such as a 3.5”(Iphone 4S etc) would be fun, especially as a person with larger fingers. I believe this game would be better served by playing on a bigger tablet sized screen. That being said, there are reports of performance issues with the Nexus 7.

Air Patriots is a micro-transaction based game which we are seeing more and more of over the past couple years, especially in the mobile market. For free, the player gets three maps and can unlock all but one plane(which costs 99 cents). Maps after the first three will cost 99 cents as well. There is also a super pack available for 6.99 which comes with map size bombs, all maps, and extra planes. In all honesty the game was fun but I had no interest in investing money into the game. It got repetitive quickly as you needed to get gears to unlock the next map. Maps need to be replayed multiple times in order to move onto the next one. I did not like this requirement. I enjoyed multiple hours for free which makes the game worth the download. Air Patriots is a solid mobile game, and I look forward to the next Amazon game studios release.

I give Air Patriots a 3/5, a good first entry.

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