Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Back in the days before electric street lamps, cities employed lamp lighters who walked up and down city streets each night lighting gas lamps. In SteamPilot, players take on the roll of a special kind of lamp lighter. This particular occupation doesn't have the player lighting lamps from the streets below with a long pole. Instead, players pilot a steam powered blimp high above the city, lighting the lamps from above. To make things a little more bizarre, the lamps aren't lit with a long, flame-tipped pole, they are lit with fireflies that the player snatches out of the air.
Players control their air bound lamp lighter via simple two-button controls on the screen. One button to make the blimp rise, and one to make it fall. The blimp advances automatically from left to right and players move the blimp up and down to dodge rooftops, chimneys, and other fixed obstacles. There are also bats that fly randomly across the sky that the pilot must dodge. Each time the blimp hits an obstacle it looses all of its captured fireflies and also looses a portion of its health bar. Once the health bar is empty, the blimp falls to the ground.
The blimp grabs fireflies from the sky by colliding with them and keeps them in a cage mounted on its nose. Then, with the press of a button, the player can drop one firefly out of the cage to fall down and light lamps directly below the cage. By consistently lighting lamps, the pilot keeps the darkness and the bats at bay. The less lamps are lit, the more bats appear in the sky, making it very difficult to progress without getting hit.
The silhouetted steam punk art style is whimsical and the detailed environment designs lend a depth to an otherwise very simple game. It's important to mention here that SteamPilot tends to be very unforgiving and games are usually very short. The controls are simple, but not easy to get the hang of. It's a lot of fun to look at and interesting to play but often ends up being more frustrating than fun.