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Sid Meiers Ace Patrol is a shining beacon of what iOS games

first_imgIn the world of phone games, there are those of us who play a ton of them, but usually not for longer than a weekend. Whether we find fishing to be ridiculous or candy to be crushable, or take special delight in screaming at our friends to resolve the paradox aboard our spaceship, games made specifically for the phone just don’t hold our interest long enough. For me, the only phone game that ever held interest for more than a couple of days is Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon, and that’s only because I currently spend an inordinate amount of time commuting every week. I never came home to my gaming PC and multiple consoles, and instead opted to play games on my phone — that is, until Ace Patrol released last night.Last night after work, instead of making progress in the surprisingly addictive Don’t Starve, or figuring out what in the world is going on in the mesmerizing Starseed Pilgrim, or finally getting around to beating the excellent Fire Emblem: Awakening after RPG Fatigue set in a month ago, I lied in bed and played a phone game until it was time to go to sleep.Ace Patrol is the second of Firaxis’ mobile offerings, with the company’s first offering, the somewhat casual monster-based strategy Haunted Hollow, releasing last week. Unlike Hollow, though, Ace Patrol was created and programmed by the legendary Sid Meier himself, rather than being one of those Sid Meier games that uses his name more than his expertise. He’s so involved with the project, that he’s actually responding to almost every thread posted on the official Ace Patrol forums. Sid Meier!The game falls into that nebulous genre of midcore — not quite casual, not quite hardcore. Ideally, the midcore level of involvement is supposed to appeal to all types of gamers, and Ace Patrol does just that. The single-player campaign is broken up into four separate years, with six missions playable each year, for a total campaign of 24 missions. You have a choice between which mission you want to play — such recon, one-on-one combat, or target demolition — so each year isn’t always the same. Each mission is worth a different amount of points, so if you want to climb up the leaderboards, completing more difficult missions will net you more points to achieve that goal. There are four different nations you can play as — British, American, French, and German — and each nation has its own single-player campaign that follows the aforementioned 24-mission structure.Each mission has its own set of rules, which largely determines which targets you’re blasting out of the sky or bombing into the ground, and how many pilots you’re bringing to the dogfight. The total number of pilots you can have in your squadron, and thus bring to certain missions, is four. Each pilot eventually gets their own special skill, such as having more accurate fire from long distance, or being able to ride new planes before they become available to every other pilot. Whenever a pilot survives a completed mission, they’ll gain a level, which can grant them stat bonuses, or plane upgrades and new flight maneuvers, which is where Ace Patrol takes aim at the hardcore audience.Next page: Customizable pilots and diverse missions are great, but how do you play? 1 2last_img read more

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