Developer: VAMflax
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Chopper Mike has players piloting a helicopter as they carefully maneuver through 48 obstacle courses. Ranging from an easy to an extreme difficulty, the goal of each course is to collect gems while attempting to accomplish three challenges (earned stars) per level by completing a course, beating a listed time and not hitting anything to have a perfect play-through. The completion and perfect challenges are rather easy outside of a few stages. However, it’s the time challenge that is, by far, the most difficult goal to accomplish, especially once beyond the easy difficulty levels.

The time limits to complete a course are insanely difficult and require a perfect run with the fastest helicopter. It can actually boggle a players mind when thinking about how quickly they need to collect the gems and how perfectly they need to fly through obstacles to complete the course. It’s a mighty difficult task and I think most will simply complete the stages by only collecting the first two stars before attempting time trial challenges.

With a very basic visual representation, players will deal with tight spaces as they carefully fly a chopper over and in-between blocks without trying to hit them. Hitting blocks will result in a time penalty and ruin the perfect challenge attempt. Also, to make things more difficult, there are moving blocks that players will need to precisely navigate through to collect the gem and get out while still having their perfect challenge attempt intact. It gets even crazier on extreme difficulty with red colored blocks that immediately fail the course if players hit them.

The gameplay feels really good and it’s easy to handle each aircraft with the virtual joystick and an ascend button. There are multiple choppers, one that is slow and allows a more steady gameplay experience when dealing with tough obstacles and another being much faster for challenging the top times. Players will also be able to unlock additional choppers as well.

Chopper Mike certainly provides a tough challenge when navigating through blocks, but something that makes it even more difficult is the camera angle and depth. There are moments when it is hard to tell the exact position of the chopper when dealing with a moving block and having no shadow of your aircraft below. It becomes slightly problematic when trying to get a sense of depth while avoiding those blocks. However, most of the time players are flying above blocks and will see a helicopter’s shadow showing their location in perspective to an upcoming obstacle.

Chopper Mike is fun for a fly-by but certainly doesn’t have enough appeal to entertain players for long. It only has a couple of interesting courses but nothing that will overly excite anyone.