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Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy Review: Gorgeous Graphics, Fast Paced Action, And an Intense Experience

As far as flight control games go, PCs and home gaming consoles typically have a stranglehold on the market. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is a title for iOS devices that threatens to challenge the status quo of flight combat games though, and possibly take the crown. If you’re a fan of Apple, you’ve more than likely heard of this game, as it was featured during the latest iPad event, taking full advantage of the device’s wicked new Retina Display.

While the game may not always be the most realistic (some physics based laws can be broken here and there), it still serves up an incredibly detailed and realistic experience. Sky Gamblers is incredibly fast paced and full of action, all taking place in that great equalizer: the sky. Fly through the heavens at break neck speeds; twist, turn, and dive with pinpoint precision; and shoot, attack, and defend against enemies that would do wrong against you.

With varying difficulty settings, you can determine how you want to play, but even some of the lowest difficulty settings still give you a ridiculous amount of control. The higher difficulty settings allow you to play with accelerometer control, which is great, but be warned: it can get incredibly touchy and difficult to perform your maneuvers and simple flight tricks due to the fact that you might get so engrossed in the experience that you aren’t paying attention to how you’re holding the device.

Regardless of which setting you choose, everything pretty much happens within the palm of your hands. Tilting the device up, down, left, or to the right will drive your aircraft in that direction. With advanced controls, such as swiping the screen up/down and many others, you can perform an array of tricks and maneuvers that might even make some of the most seasoned pilots a little queasy. Increase or decrease your speed with the touch of a finger, command your wingmen, and so much more with intuitive gesture based controlling. While it can get a little overwhelming at first, I was able to pick up the tricks of the trade, so to speak, in a matter of time. Once I had the hang of it, I felt like there was very little anyone could do to stop me. If you’re a stickler for advanced gaming control, you’ll definitely find Sky Gamblers to be appealing, as it would take me writing a post much longer than this one to detail all of the possibilities in controls.

While the story mode might not be the most unique (hey, how many variations of flight combat stories can one really come up with, anyway?), the campaign modes are still excellent and challenging. But that’s not all. You can take part in dogfight missions, multiplayer modes, as well as deathmatch, capture the flag, and base defense. No matter what your preferences, I think it’s safe to say that Sky Gamblers might have you covered in every area of entertainment possibilities for a game like this.

The graphics are really a thing to behold, especially on the iPad’s new display. Colors pop and animations are wonderfully smooth, with a few choice moments bringing me to an almost giddy giggle. Almost, I said. For a game as technologically intensive as this one, I was surprised to find that I rarely had an issue with crashes or stuttering. I encountered perhaps a few moments like that, but I was able to quickly pick up where I left off and I didn’t even think about it. There is one gripe about the graphics, though. They can be a bit inconsistent. While breathtaking in one moment up in the air, visuals can get rather underwhelming the closer to the ground you are. There isn’t a lot of detail there, and I suppose you would expect as much, since this is a game that’s all about…well, the sky. But it created a stark contrast for me.

While the game can be a bit of a difficult pick up right off the bat, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy more than holds its own in not just the mobile gaming platform, but the flight simulator genre as well. All of the planes are incredibly detailed, and the artwork is top notch, not to mention the game play. With only a few minor quibbles, it’s safe to say that Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is quite the win for Namco Bandai, the developer.

While it might cost a bit more than your average gaming app at $4.99, Sky Gamblers is worth the price, if you ask me. Since it’s a universal app, I’ve played it on both my iPhone and new iPad, and it’s the exact same experience on each device.

Our score: 5 out of 5.

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