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Air Mail review (iOS / Universal)

May 27, 2012

“Sailing through the wide blue yonder
It’s that Air Mail Special on the fly”

10 word description: Arcade flying game. Three modes. Three control methods. Game Center.

10 word review: Pretty and entertaining. I wish my iPad could run it.

You will like this if you enjoy: Arcade style flight games where you have to fly through rings and beat par times. Pilotwings Resort (3DS) looks like a similar current game (from the videos I’ve seen), although I haven’t played that. There are obviously quite a few older games that share similarities with this one.

The good news: Very pretty and stylish graphics. Three different, configurable control methods. Time limits (as far as I have seen) are purely for the star ratings. Exploration is encouraged. Gameplay is fun and the arcade flight model is easy to get on with. Several different camera views to choose from.

The bad news: Performance isn’t brilliant on my 4th gen Touch. I wish I had a more recent iPad than my 1st gen, as that isn’t a compatible device for this game. That is probably just bad news for me and anyone else in the same technology rut. Apart from that, and the fact that I have trouble finding the golden monkeys, it’s all pretty much good news.

Arcadelife verdict: It’s a well designed, fun game. Possibly not quite the Best Game Ever that some other reviews are making it out to be, but then I’m just bitter because the only device I have that will run it doesn’t run it particularly well. The restrained choice of a normal looking biplane, rather than a hang-glider or some freaky steam-powered flying bicycle is to be applauded. If I ever get a later model iPad, I’ll definitely play this game on it.

If you played Air Supremacy and wished for a non-violent exploration mode, you’re going to love this game. As well as a pure exploration mode, there is also a hidden golden monkey in each mission (in campaign mode) to go back and look for. Sometimes it feels like there’s a bit too much exploring to do, as the monkeys aren’t exactly easy to find.

Overall, very good and well worth getting if you have an iPad that can run it. If you have a compatible iPhone/iPod Touch, it’s also worth getting but be prepared for a slightly less amazing experience than on the larger device.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 9/10
Audio – 8.5/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 86/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Chillingo / Air Mail website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1)
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