Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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There are plenty of futuristic flight sims, and tons flight sims with modern fighter jets, and even some with World War II era aircraft. However, there aren't very many flight sim titles in which players can take control of authentic World War I planes. Among those few titles that do exist, it's doubtful that any of them are quite as fully featured as Sky Gamblers: Rise for Glory.
As with many flight sims, Sky Gamblers utilizes the iOS tilt controls to allow the player to controls the aircraft without the need for lots of complicated on-screen controls. The tilt controls are responsive and work well enough to get through most of the games missions without too much trouble. When fine control is needed -- when landing for instance -- things can get a bit more tricky, but these instances don't usually take much more than a few additional tries and some extra concentration. While tilting the device controls the wing flaps and the majority of the plane's trajectory, the left thumb (using a virtual joystick) controls the throttle by moving up and down and the tail flap for yaw by moving left or right. The right thumb controls the weapons via simple on screen buttons.
Maneuvering the plane isn't as simple as in some more arcade-like flight sims, but it isn't as technical or difficult as a hard-core sim. There are even some complicated turning and flipping maneuvers that can be executed with short swipes in certain directions in the middle of the screen. This makes the game much more accessible and enjoyable to players of most skill levels. As easy as the game makes it to pilot the planes, it doesn't do much to help the player stay oriented. It is very easy to get turned around or upside down and have to spend a few moments reorienting the plane, which can be costly during a heated dogfight.
The game has 12 missions in which the player is asked to complete various tasks such as patrolling and area, eliminating enemy aircraft, and strafing enemy convoys. The missions are varied enough that they don't get too boring or repetitive. One nice feature is the inclusion of a button that will speed up flight while there are no enemies in the area. This will save on time spent flying from one waypoint to the next in longer missions.
Aside from the 12 campaign missions, there are also dozens of dogfight missions where players duel it out pilot against pilot. Players can also create custom games to fit their specific preferences. An 8-player multiplayer mode puts this game over the edge. This multiplayer mode includes several common game types like Team Death Match, Defend the Base, and Capture the Flag.
Sky Gamblers is a great flight sim, and it provides genre fans with a sim focused on an era that is forgotten by sims. The game also includes tons of content and multiplayer so that players can squeeze as much gameplay as possible out of their purchase. The environments and models look great and they hold up during extensive play. Players looking for something different should give Sky Gamblers: Rise of Glory a look.