Aces of Steam is a multiplayer top down air combat game released by Problem Bob.
“Do you have what it takes to become an Ace of Steam? Grab a controller to find out in this local multiplayer game for up to 4 players! To keep your CCE (Cloud Compression Engine) running you’ll need to collect clouds faster than you loose steam. If you run dry you’ll crash. And without water that means you’ll burn too.”
This game puts you in control of a steam power plane flying over a set landscape, your job to destory the other three planes on the map to become the sole survivor.
Gameplay wise, when you start the game you tap the controls at one of the corners of the screen to take control from the computer player. Up to four players can play, leave any corner untapped and it remains under computer control meaning that there are always four active players in a game.
You need to fly around the map (if you leave at the top of the screen, you return at the bottom) dodging enemy fire and any power ups attack. You need to shoot down the planes. The plane automatically fires, so you can focus on dodging and looking for power ups.
Power ups range from shields, dropping mines, being invisible and increasing speed. The power ups randomly appear around the screen.
If you play this game single player, the CPU player give a reasonable challenge level and games can be fun in small doses, however, you will end up the winner most of the time and there is no level settings that I can find to increase the challenge rating.
This game could have really come alive with the multiplayer mode, however, I found the lack of power ups and any really special powers could often make the paying experience a bit similar.
The game is controlled using a left and right button on the corner you are controlling.
The menu system is beautiful and well drawn, with a great steam punk feel and a nice story line for the pilots etc, however, it is hard to work out what opens what and really just contains the credits, the history, combat guide and starting the game.
The graphics and sound are both good with a WW2/steam punk feel.
On the upside:
- Polished graphic.
- Fun battles, in small doses.
On the downside:
- A special ability for every plane would have been nice.
- Lack of Difficulty levels, means single player gets old quickly.
- Missions or a Campaign could really improve the game and take it up a level.
Overall, this is an interesting little game. The basic game itself is very solid, but it really needs more in the way of modes or challenges to really make it a must have. If you cannot get several players round the iPad the gameplay is going to be short lived.
Size: 4.4 MB
Price (at time of review): £1.49