After checking out PocketTactic’s piece on the limited (to Canada) release of a new Sid Meier game, I thought I’d take a little time tonight and check out Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol for iOS, especially there’s not a lot of game info either on 2K’s page (they’re the publisher) nor on FireAxis’s page (they’re the developer).
Basically Ace Patrol is a turn based World War I air combat game — in the style of the old Avalon Hill games from late in the last century. You move your aircraft a hex or two at a time during your turn, maybe shooting, and then your opponent does the same.
Actually Ace Patrol kinda reminds me of Richthofen’s War in some of the missions and turn mechanics.
Unlike Richtofen’s War, turn progress happens much quicker with missions unfolding in a campaign sequence mirroring major battles of The Great War.
I’m not going to write a full-up review as the world-wide release of the game doesn’t happen until May 9th. For some reason, the Canada iTunes store was selected to test-launch the title so is available there currently. So I’ll just touch on a few of the things I found interesting about my brief play with the game.
- Jaunty music — I rather liked the soundtrack. Cool music and, if you stay on the store or other static menus, you hear some sort of aviation background chatter and noise after the music ends.
- Good graphics — the aircraft are kinda cartoony, but overall it works. The map is rendered nicely and the animations are pretty smooth.
- User Interface — the 3d rotation around your aircraft and the battle is intuitive and essential to understanding what’s happening in the flying furball of combat.
- Four nations and campaigns — An abridged British campaign comes free with the game. The complete British campaign and three others are available as in-app purchases.
- The turn-based movement mechanic forces you to think a few turns ahead and attempt to anticipate the flow of battle.
- Single and multi-player through turn handoff or local network play.
So yeah, to summarize, Ace Patrol is fun, and yeah, I’ll be playing it quite a bit more, and perhaps investing in some of the additional content through the in-app purchases.
Whoops! Almost forgot the price breakdown of some of the in-app purchases, followed by a cool gameplay video ( 20+ minutes!)