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Genre: Shoot em up :: Players: 1 :: Released: 17/8/08

Aces of the Luftwaffe Review

Publisher: Handy Games :: Developer: HandyGames


Game Features


Great story
Fun graphics and sound
Cool special moves


Lots of levels

Save Option
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Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K800i
Time Played 3 hours
Game Progress Finished game on easy mode

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 17/8/08

Handy Games doing a shoot em up?

Now we've been playing mobile games almost as long as Handy Games have been making them. Known for their Townsmen series and other stranger titles, Handy Games have decided to come up with a 'simple' shoot em up set in the time of the second world war.

What surprised me the most apart from the fact that there was no pig racing or strange streakers around, was that in the game you play the part of a young pilot in the British RAF fighting against the Germans. Nothing surprising about that I hear you mutter, except for the fact that Handy Games are a German company. So fighting against the Luftwaffe was not what I expected.

What I did expect was a solid and very playable game and that's what I got. Colours and graphics are larger than life and help to take the slight edge of the fact this is essentially a story about the war. Not a completely true story mind you, unless you believe that the Germans had laser weapons back in the 40s, but a story nonetheless. Sound is good too, with the harsh sound of gunfire during the game and other tunes to set the mood. In particular there is a pretty decent atmospheric tune when you encounter a certain enemy.

The controls are quite innovative too, as it plays very much like an arcade shoot em up with some special moves thrown in. You can use the stick or pad to move left and right. 5 or fire will give you a short burst of gunfire, but watch the meter at the bottom right so it doesn't overheat. Any other direction will give you a special move which takes up some of your special move bar (forgotten the name, it's bottom left). It will replenish automatically, so don't worry about using these special moves. What they are is that pressing up will make your plane zip up quickly, useful for getting away from gunfire. Pressing down will make your plane dive for a second, again useful for avoiding gunfire and picking up pilots in distress.

Then you have the double tap moves, double tapping left or right will barrel roll. This is a useful move to get away to one direction, but can often leave you crashing into planes or bullets. Better is double tapping down or up which bank the plane or do a loop the loop. In each case the animation for these special moves is excellent.

So onto the gameplay. It's a really fun game, and as I said, plays a lot like an arcade shooter. There's no smart bomb but with the special moves you don't really need one. I finished the game on rookie which I guess determines how many power ups you get. There are plenty of these which will give you more gunfire, rockets, additional air support or repair your plane. The missions vary from all out combat, having to rescue pilots, shielding fellow planes and protecting buildings from bombers. For the all out combat missions, you don't have a set target, usually it's just to survive until the end of the level.

What elevates the game from an enjoyable and well put together shooter to something a little more is the storyline. In between each level are cut scenes where the events are detailed and a plot is furthered. I won't spoil the twists and turns, but suffice it to say, there are many and some are quite interesting. The reason the game is called Aces of the Luftwaffe is every so often you have to take on one of the special supposedly unbeatable pilots or 'aces' of the Luftwaffe. Essentially these are big boss levels where the opposing plane has plenty of gun and rocket turrets to get you.

The reason this game is so much fun is that the flying and special moves are all pretty cool. There are lots of different enemies and enough variety in the missions that you will be constantly entertained. And while there are a LOT of missions (which you get a score and rank for after each one), the plot merrily skips along enough to keep you interested. The missions are not that long and the length and playability meant I kept coming back to finish one more to find out what was going on. And I'm glad that I did, because you unlock a dogfight mode and an interesting ending when you finish the game.

A great showing in the shoot em up category, Handy Games have once again proved their versatility. The special moves, fun graphics and interesting story elevate this to a prestigious silver award!