Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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1951 - World War One (1951) is a surprisingly great top down RPG-ish plane shooter from Treehouse Ltd, an unknown indie dev company out of Finland. The game pits you as a daring WWI fighter pilot on a mission to kill as many enemy planes as possible.
The basic premise of the game is that you get to make a fighter pilot from one of the three fighter pilot templates, each with their own special ability, and then fight in one of two game modes, Waves and Survival. The game modes are just like you would expect, but the Waves game only sends you back one wave if you die. For instance, if you play your butt off and get to wave 27, you only go back to wave 26 when you die, not wave 1.
Unlike other shooters that just rely on skill and persistence, 1951 has an RPG aspect that allows you to gain stat points every time you level up. The stats are all presented in a fun, "Fallout-esque" way that explains them to you in great, often humorous, detail.
There is quite a bit of skill involved too though, so don't shy away if you are looking for a good dogfight. The steering in 1951 is all done by accelerometer, and it is as precise as possible on my iPhone 4. The harder you turn your device, the faster your plane will steer. Using swipe controls, you can also control your speed and different acrobatic tricks that you may or may not want to try to accomplish. The only real buttons on the screen are there for firing your weapon, and activating a skill.
The real star of the show in 1951 though is style. The menu screens definitely have a "Fallout" feel to them, being simultaneously retro and modern. They are all styled perfectly, giving the game some added texture that would otherwise be lost. Once in the game, the depth and texture of the ground, as well as the fantastic addition of weather make 1951 one of the prettiest games I have played in a long time. It doesn't quite give you the feeling of freedom that I got from playing Aera the first time, but it's close.
If you are up to a brisk, "top down RPG-ish plane shooter" challenge, then 1951 - World War One may be the perfect game for you. It plays well and it is pretty... what more do you want from an iPhone game?