App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Atypical Games took multiplayer tank fighting to the next level with Infinite Tanks last year, and now they’ve taken to this approach to the skies with Sky Gamblers - Infinite Jets. Unfortunately though, there seems to be some turbulence in the series’ transition from land to air. Although Infinite Jets is a fine enough dogfighting game, it’s lacking in a lot of the customization features that made Infinite Tanks so great.
Do a barrel roll
Much like Infinite Tanks was a pretty straightforward tank battler, Infinite Jets is almost entirely just about jets dogfighting. It features a singleplayer campaign that’s 14 brief missions of shooting down AI, with the remainder of the experience being a multiplayer mode where you can take your aircraft online to compete for air supremacy.
The controls here are pretty much exactly what you’d expect from an air combat game. You control your altitude and throttle with two virtual joysticks (or tilt controls) as you try to get a bead on targets and either launch missiles or switch to guns to take them down. You also have access to flares and evasive maneuvers that you can use to avoid getting hit yourself. There’s not much to it, but all of the on-screen buttons can get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there is fully-customizable MFi controller support, which is definitely the ideal way to play Infinite Jets.
Jets for days
Although the action in Infinite Jets might sound pretty boilerplate stuff, the way it tries to win you over is by having an overwhelming number of jets for you to unlock and play with. Contrary to its name, Infinite Jets only boasts a little over 100 planes, but each one can be outfitted with different weapons and can be upgraded in a variety of different ways.
The only problem with this system though is that it’s not quite as customizable as it may seem. Where Infinite Tanks let you mix and match all sorts of tank parts to create a war machine tailor-made to your playstyle, Infinite Jets merely provides a set list of jets to unlock and the same sets of weapons and upgrades for all of them. In addition to this, unlocking all of these planes involves grinding out in-game currency and following a linear path of jet purchases, which makes the whole thing feel like a grind rather than a world of infinite customization options.
To make the customization and upgrade system of Infinite Jets feel a little less linear, the game offers a good variety of multiplayer missions, some of which are better suited for certain kinds of jets. For instance, faster aircraft that carry less firepower might sound pretty bad in a deathmatch scenario, but when playing capture the flag, they might be the star of the show. Similarly, for missions where you need to sneak across enemy lines to wreak havoc on a base, you might want to use a stealth fighter to be a little harder to detect.
As great as all of this sounds though, Infinite Jets’s multiplayer isn’t designed to allow you to pick your jets for the kind of match you play. Instead, players get matched into game types randomly and have to use whatever jet they currently have selected in the main menu as their fighter of choice. It feels like a huge oversight and puts a damper on wanting to create any kind of specialization when upgrading fighters.
The bottom line
Infinite Jets should have been a home run of a sequel to Infinite Tanks, but instead it feels like a step back for the series. The customization options present here are reduced to a grind of unlocking a planes in a specific order, and the multiplayer—while varied—doesn’t really encourage much creativity. These things don’t make Sky Gamblers - Infinite Jets a terrible game necessarily, but they do make it feel much more generic than it should.