Mini-review: Air Gunship 3D

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You know I can't resist a flight simulation game, especially when it involves combat helicopters.... Air Gunship 3D is more or less as it sounds, except fairly simplified and covered in ads. But it's built on the Unity graphics engine, it looks terrific and gameplay is.... challenging. Given that it's free, worth a look if you like casual coffee-break-sized missions.

From the (slightly misleading) Store description:

Air Gunship 3D is a super action game where you ride a helicopter and shoot down all incoming enemies before they destroy you. Don’t take this mission lightly, the sky will be full of incoming heli shooters, so you need to be careful else all hell will break loose and your operation will end in a chaos. Download Air Gunship for free today and take charge of your cavalry in the skies.

+ High quality air battle scenes to completely immerse you in the game play
+ 3D Helicopter simulator with varying powers and ammunition like laser guided missiles, super sonic rocket launchers etc.
+ FPS shooter game like experience for endless fun
+ HD quality graphics for realistic feel.

The scope of the game isn't quite what you might think - the action always takes place in the same part of the virtual world, albeit with some nice mountain peaks to hide behind when there are lots of enemy aircraft around. Plus it's essentially a 'how long can you stay alive' game - your score is the number of waves of enemy craft you manage to shoot down before you succumb.

Add to that a flight model which is deliberately simplified to avoid each user having to learn how to fly a helicopter, your craft is automatically stabilised and brought to a stop anytime you let go of the thrust control. But don't be too put off, the result is still playable and fun, even if there's ultimately not huge depth to the title.

Here's Air Gunship 3D in action:

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

A high production value splash screen...!

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

The interface is nigh on perfect, in that there's not too much to confuse. Tilting the phone is effectively the cyclic (this being a helicopter) and thrust kicks up velocity in a burst - yes, that bit's not very realistic in terms of mechanics, but it does the job well for the casual player.

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

Yes, that's a B2 stealth bomber up ahead - the mix and match between bombers, fighters and gunships here doesn't make much sense, but hey....

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

Targets are auto-locked if they're close enough, then it's up to you to fire and get on with the next manoeuvre. Notice the exagerated hills ahead...

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

When the number of enemies starts growing, hiding behind these hills and popping out to fire starts to become a necessary tactic...

Air Gunship 3D screenshot

It's all over when your health declines too much - or you crash, etc. There's nothing in the way of high score tables or online opponents or social metrics, but hey, you just had fun blasting away state of the art aircraft from the comfort of your smartphone, so....

You can grab Air Gunship 3D here in the Store - it's free! The banner ads looks more intrusive than they are in actuality - though a 'remove ads' option on the main menu would have been handy, if the developers are listening...

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store