I’ve been conflicted on the Sky Gambler series from the start. Rise of Glory, their WWI flying experience, was mediocre due to the lack of control schemes. The second attempt, Air Supremacy, featured a slew of modern fighter jets and a high-paced realm of dog-fighting action; Sky Gamblers was beginning to improve their gaming experience. Unfortunately, they reverted back to their old ways with the latest, Storm Raiders. This time, the control scheme wasn’t an issue (there’s many different options for every type of gaming pilot), but the overall experience has been hindered by the time period the game represents.
Let me explain…We revert back to WWII, a choice that seems like a massive step backwards (as far as aerial technology is concerned) after piloting modern jets in Air Supremacy. You begin with a classic WarHawk, and yeah, it only comes with a propeller. Then you must fumble your way across the battlefield in hopes of catching up to an enemy to gun him down. With a meager boost option and a single engine, this becomes a very lethargic process!
So why the relapse? I couldn’t help but notice that the first two Sky Gambler games on the AppStore were published by Namco Networks America Inc. Games, whereas this most recent edition was published by Atypical Games. Just by looking at the structure and composition of the game, you can’t really tell that two different publishers were involved in the series, but it is possible that the playability was effected by this strange division. There’s no way to know for sure.
Other things to be aware of: Missions can seem lengthy, especially if you have yet to catch on to what you’re doing. Also, keep in mind how you fly/fight; your engines and weaponry can overheat if you lean on them too much, causing brief bouts of vulnerability until they cool.
I guess I should give some credit, too: Despite their shortcomings, Sky Gamblers also knows how to pack a mobile game full with features. First of all, the amount of gaming mode options are exponential (see photo below for details). Second, I admire any developer who can fit an expansive world into an iOS game; unfortunately, that also means you must navigate that world, a task that progresses very slowly thanks to the olden-time propeller planes you are required to pilot.
Undercover Agent: Okay, not exactly, but you are able to play as the Americans or the Japanese, depending on the mission. This helps to elongate the overall playtime you have in the war, as well as allowing you to view either perspective of the two warring countries.
iOSA3 Rating: 3.8/5 Unfortunately, Storm Raiders’ benefits do not outshine its shortcomings. The truth is that the battlefields seem so large and the planes are so slow that it often feels like your plane isn’t moving anywhere at all. By the time you reach your destination, you may have lost interest in the reason you went there in the first place! The pace is just horribly implemented.
Bottom Line: Storm Raiders is adequately priced for the amount of content they packed into this mobile flyer, but unfortunately playability (and the general enjoyment of playing) has been leeched away, making Storm Raiders a fair attempt but not the best piloting adventure we’ve played this year. I would hold onto your money and spend it on Air Supremacy, if you haven’t already.
Sound Off: Now, folks, it’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or general comments about Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders and/or its developer, Atypical Games? I personally reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear what you have to say! Just take your cranial debris and throw it down in the box below!