I'll admit -- I wasn't sold on the idea that the iPhone could be a true "mobile gaming device" despite all the marketing that Apple was bombarding me with... And then I came across Top Gun for iPhone.
This game blew away my expectations. The 3d graphics were impressive and the controls were responsive and intuitive. The game play is very similar to the old SEGA arcade game, Afterburner. If you're not familiar with Afterburner, this game is more of arcade shooter than an actual flight simulator. Your aircraft essentially flies on a "rail" and you can steer your plane to different areas of the screen by tilting the iPhone. To fire your weapons (guns or locking missiles) you tap the fire buttons on the screen. Dodging enemy fire requires navigating your plane to avoid the flashing "Danger Zones" on the screen. The story in the game is told through on screen text and static character images. It seems like they could have thrown in some voice work to make the game more immersive, but at $4.00 it's tough to complain.
The game takes some creative liberties with the "Top Gun" license. "Iceman" is now a Top Gun instructor, but rather than hop into an F-14 Tomcat, you start off in a much more recent F-22 fighter. Essentially, all a game needs to carry the Top Gun brand is fighter jets, and this game delivers on that. It even includes a little Kenny Loggins -Danger Zone to really put you in the Top Gun mood. I'm just glad they didn't tack on a volleyball mini-game.
I'm probably not going to develop "gamer's thumb" (or whatever the touchscreen equivalent is) from playing games on my iPhone, but it's nice to know there's yet another diversion to distract me and my short attention span.
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