Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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C.H.A.O.S. stands for conceptual helicopter assault operational simulator, and that really sums the game up pretty well. This is a helicopter combat simulator, and in it players can take control of various military helicopters from all over the world. Players will undertake various missions in the game's single player mode and will also have the chance to take on other players in the game's multiplayer mode.
One of the most important aspects of any flight simulator -- and one that can really make or break the game -- is how it handles; that is to say, how does the player interact with the game and pilot the aircraft featured in the game. C.H.A.O.S. walks a the thin line that all iOS flight sims are forced to walk. Making the controls too complicated makes it impossible to enjoy the game on a touchscreen, but make the controls too simple and the game loses the challenge of a real flight sim. Fortunately the developers have done a fair job at finding a good balance between sim and arcade controls. The player tilts the device to tilt the chopper. Tilting forward tilts the craft forward and it moves forward, tilting back makes it tilt and move back. Tilting left or right will turn the craft in that direction. With the left thumb, the player controls a virtual joystick with which they can make the helicopter gain and decrease altitude, and strafe left or right. The right thumb controls the weapons. These controls are responsive and flying the helicopters in the game becomes very possible with a bit of practice.
Weapons in this game include machine guns, missiles, and guided missiles. The guided missiles can be locked on to targets while the other weapons are unguided and must be aimed, which is often not an easy task. By winning battles and finishing missions, players can earn money and experience which they can use to purchase new helicopters and upgrades that will further increase their power of destruction. Single player missions include several different variations on a few different mission types: dogfighting, piloting, attacking enemy positions, and defending friendly positions from enemy attack. Each type is fun and challenging in its own way, making for a deeper flight sim experience that one might expect from an iOS title.
The game looks great as well. The environments, while a bit on the small side, are well designed and varied enough to keep things interesting game after game. There are times when it is difficult to find a neutral position for the device to keep a helicopter still for a moment. There is no way to change this in the game's options so players are sometimes forced to tilt their device at strange angles to successfully pilot a craft. Generally this doesn't present much of a problem, though, and the game doesn't suffer much as a result. C.H.A.O.S. provides a robust helicopter combat sim experience and while it sometimes feels a bit more arcade-like than other sims, it take full advantage of iOS capabilities and uses them well.