If you fancy yourself as the next Top Gun then Atypical Games have the answer with their latest air combat game Sky Gamblers Afterburner.
The Sky Gamblers games have made their way from mobile to Switch before and this one is no different, only rebadged as ‘Afterburner’. Considering the quality of the mobile games and the lack of in-game payments here, that’s no bad thing because it’s presented in a much more user friendly way without all the currency issues.
The main mode in Afterburner is the campaign, which sees you take part in a story involving an attack on your country and some devious goings on that can only be solved with a few bombing raids and some dog-fighting (naturally). It manages to include several ‘bro’ moments and even a love interest in its short running time but unfortunately the missions don’t take long to complete and you’ll probably see the game through to the end within 3 hours. That said, it’s fun while it lasts and it’s by no means the only mode the game has to offer.
The campaign is also pretty forgiving, making it even easier to complete. If you do die then you’ll get placed back at a last checkpoint (though you have the option to start the level again) making it even easier. I would have liked to see some higher difficultly options added.
Thankfully a full list of custom single and multiplayer games are on offer here, all of which are great fun and give you plenty of excuse to revisit the maps. The multiplayer maps will, of course, depend on how many people are around online to play. I love the inclusion of a mode where you can just fly around to your heart’s content, checking out the scenery.
Whichever mode you play in, the HUD is sadly lacking much thought with small poorly designed layout meaning that it’s often quite difficult to read in the midst of action packed dogfights. Despite the screen being bigger in mobile mode than most phones, it doesn’t seem to have been scaled correctly. Other than this, the game itself is pretty nice, though it won’t win any awards for visuals. The scenery is quite detailed and the planes are all well designed.
While there is no real world payment, the game does offer virtual currency for completing missions in order to unlock planes, decals and other cosmetic enhancements. It’s worth mentioning the great plane editor at this point because it’s a nice feature that allows you to really get a plane that looks unique based on your own designs. It does stop short of your drawing your own decals, but there’s enough here to make a pretty unique design.
Despite its short-comings, I still enjoyed Sky Gamblers Afterburner. If you go into it expecting a lightweight arcade flying experience then you won’t be disappointed.