Fly into the danger zone with this stylish iPhone shooter.
This summer, we'll experience tons of 80s nostalgia. New movies based on Transformers and G.I. Joe are on the way, the Terminator franchise will make a huge comeback and now Top Gun flies back into the danger zone with a new iPhone game. Although it doesn't include every little thing from the film (Maverick looks nothing like Tom Cruise), it's a fun shooter, especially at $4.
Instead of taking control of the movie's main hero, Maverick, you're a young hotshot pilot under his tutelage. You'll learn the basics of flight and avoid danger in the game's tutorial mission. Offensively, you'll shoot down planes using machine guns and missiles that coordinate with an on-screen targeting cursor. To move your jet around, you'll tilt your iPhone, just like you would a steering wheel. The control system responds almost perfectly, allowing you to sway out of harm's way and even perform a few barrel rolls. And yes, you can buzz by a tower just like Maverick does in the movie.
As you fly through each mission, you'll need to keep an eye on your screen for danger zones. This isn't just a clever use of the Kenny Loggins song of the same name, but a warning system that lets you spy incoming threats. To avoid taking damage to your plane, just fly out of the danger zones. It becomes a little more difficult in later stages, however, as danger zones pop up more frequently.
Shooting planes is a breeze, as your jet uses a multiple lock-on system. You can target up to four enemy fighters at once. However, the missiles take a while to fire and hit those targets. You might be in trouble if the screen's filled with them.
Top Gun looks like a winner. The 3-D flying action is immensely satisfying, never slowing down or glitching. You always have a clear view of the play area, so you can see and lock onto enemies with ease. The planes look gorgeous, right down to the glow of the thrusters and the way they sway through a barrel roll. Some of the backgrounds aren't that detailed, but considering they fly by so quickly, you won't care.
The soundtrack is pure 80s schmaltz. Freeverse hired a talented band to cover Loggins' "Danger Zone". It would've been nice to have the original version (or "Playin' With the Boys", for that matter), but what's here is serviceable. A few songs are cheesier than others, but perhaps maybe they were purposely made that way.
Paramount sells Top Gun for the incredibly affordable price of four bucks, making this a must-have for fans of the film and arcade lovers. It reminded us of the old carefree days of Sega's After Burner, where you left flight logistics behind to zip through the air. Get it and fulfill your need for speed.
What's Hot: Terrific motion controls, pays homage to the 80s film, defensive "Danger Zones" are a smart idea, only four bucks.
What's Not: Kenny Loggins' version of "Danger Zone" isn't here, cheesy 80s style tunes, missiles take some time to hit their targets, no Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer.