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Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders, as three out four titular words don’t even remotely suggest, is a WWII aerial combat game. And as daft as that title may be, the game itself is thankfully rather spiffing.
Firstly, and most obvious of all: it’s pretty darn gorgeous throughout. And for the most part framerates hold steady too, the odd drop here and there in the midst of a well attended battle – at least on the new iPod Touch (same as 4S, grunt-wise) iPhone 5 users probably won’t experience this. Either way, it’s definitely a showpiece title, and those of a certain age will again marvel at how you can have something like this on something like that.
Secondly, Storm Raiders is quite generous with its features. Away from the expected unlocks, more planes, more skins etc, there’s a raft of game modes for single and multiplay. MP has the usual suspects – CTF, team dm, FFA – but pleasingly so does the SP, with bots accompanying solo flyers. Free-flight for practice is also welcome, and with no RAT-A-TAT-TAT distractions it’s hard not to admire the scenery below.
Controls have been given similiar care and thought, with various options catering for different play styles and difficulty. Personally, the tilt based method seemed the most effective for me, tapping the screen only to adjust throttle and shoot. Tilting to pitch and roll worked well but does assume you have the a) space to and perhaps more importantly, b) the solitude, to not look like a pillock.
Ultimately how much you enjoy Storm Raiders is down to how well you get on with these controls. Away from this inherent limitation however, Storm Raiders is as good an execution of ‘this sort of thing’ as you could wish for. PIP PIP!