Indeed, a tremendous amount of mobile studios has turned into a Nintendo Switch, as it is the closest platform to them and its success is an attraction that is hard to resist. Moreover, in many ways they can offer something that is missing there. In addition, if they succeed in timing the release of their game, they can smile happy. In this way, the circumstances in favor of California's Atypical Games have been played. They have the famous Sky Gamblers, Radiation Island and Battle Supremacy series on their handsets, and the first player now has a completely new Switch exclusive game.
The Sky Gamblers: Afterburner really doesn't have to be drilled deep to find roots. These are in some respects seen at first sight. On the other hand, it's not just a mobile phone port. It's a case like many others, when the basics were picked up from the phones, something was added, something went wrong (for example, the free to play model) and many things adapted to the transition to the Nintendo hybrid platform. Likewise, the result is very similar to what I often see in cases of such games. Quality is there, but also shortcomings. If you are waiting for a Switch alternative for the current Ace Combat 7, you are at the wrong address. But if you need anything less, read on.
Afterburner builds on the foundations of Storm Raiders' predecessor, but it also brings a story that will take you to the near future, as there can be no air action today without a story. On the other hand, the game writer did not get too much work with him and works with well-known tropics. One of your alliance's generals has turned a party that threatens world peace and to prevent a global war, you have to get into the cockpit and stop it with your squadron. You are an elite pilot, you get elite machines in your hands, but you also have to prepare for the last minute loss, betrayal and rescue. Nothing unconventional awaits you here, and the dialogues are just a text-based form of the cockpit;
But I personally do not perceive this as a serious mistake, as things are more important than the story in such games. Especially it is the gaming offer itself, which in the case of this title is divided into three pillars. The first is a campaign that is linked to the story already mentioned. Then there is a Skirmish where you can play multiplayer missions in single player gameplay to fly and destroy enemies. And finally there is the multiplayer itself. The game tries to spread its possibilities evenly between all three.
After going through a pair of tutorials, a campaign will be opened in front of you, going through 15 missions in which you will learn more and more about the story. Every mission has a machine you have to go with, but the advantage is that you get a different one in each hand to try differently. You also get them based on what tasks are ahead of you. Sometimes you fight mainly in the air, sometimes you destroy ground targets (a pity that the bombing itself is automatic and not manual), but there are also passages, especially when you watch or fly under the radar. In some missions, the authors have also prepared for you a fight not only against enemies, but also against time.
However, there are mobile roots here that, due to the Switch concept, do not have to be harmful, but it also allows us to use traditional console play so that none of you would be angry if the missions were longer. But the reality is the opposite and are rather shorter and each consists of several stages that are gradually increasing. However, the result is that you will go through the entire campaign in about 3 hours (during which the game will take you through 5 environments), which is very little. Although you will not be able to get bored in that time, you would like to make it a little more. Only two other things can make up for a short game time. The first is another content, which is not limited here. The second is a lower price tag, as the game costs about 20 euros.
But afterburner is another game where fans will be sorry that no aerial joystick is available on Switch. It is not a simulation, but a pure-bred arcade game. But it offers an entertaining flight model where you will especially enjoy airborne combat with other aircraft. It is built precisely on fast and dynamic dogfights, while the game sometimes looks more serious and lets you take off or land manually, even though it has simplified these activities. There is also a good impression of speed, height and chasing between the clouds with the opponents. Control is intuitive and responsive. I am not saying that something better could be achieved, but it is playing well.
In addition, you have two control modes and so far I have described the "simulation" that is itself very arcade. But if you are newcomers to such air action games, you may also appreciate the presence of the Casual Control Mode, which is even simpler. You are not already using both levers to change direction, but only one. You can also turn on motion control that works well here. And some simple elements can also be controlled by touching the screen when playing in a handheld. In addition, you can set many of these things in more detail, or play with their sensitivity to tune the controls for yourself. You will still play the arcade, but at least you will control it the way you want it.
A huge advantage of the game is also the number of machines you come across here. In addition to this, it is necessary to add the possibility of their modifications, whether visual or even upgrades, along with a number of new weapons. You can upgrade your aircraft in 6 statistics, dozens of weapons are also available, both primary rockets and secondary and cannons (weapons are unlimited as well as flares, but you cannot use them completely arbitrarily). You can try an improved aircraft before buying it. Well, as for the planes themselves, they unfortunately have no real names, but some real contours will look at them. There are up to 33 in total, so there's plenty to choose from.
Perhaps it would be if the game didn't contain a really weird bug. If you go to one of them and you go all missions at once, you have no problem with it. But if you want to fly here and there and put the game on the side for example, you will find that progress between missions is wrong. You have missed the mission and you will also make it available for it, but XP and credits were not included. Leveling in the game and buying new machines can be quite challenging. This is probably the biggest mistake of the game, and while the authors do not remove it, it significantly pulls down the overall rating. You would like to stay in the technology tree and you are entitled to it, but this bug prevents you from doing so.
Fortunately, not everything is in the game like this, and while the authors have obviously made a very stupid mistake, in other areas, they have also taken care of the details that help to give a good impression. The HUD is really functional here, the flares make sense, and the authors obviously knew how to give it a punch, even though the game doesn't look the best and does not have the highest production value. Well, personally, I liked the fact that sometimes your enemies did not end up in flames after you shot them at a mash. You see the pilot eject and drop down with the parachute. You can also eject if the situation requires it.
This is often useful, for example, in multiplayer, which I could cover with words of praise if there was no one hook - almost no one plays it. If no one ever played it, maybe it wouldn't be as much as it was played by so few people. He searches for matches for a long time, finally finds them and you play 1v1 or 1v2. Matchmaking does not exist here, so you can play against someone better or even worse. At the same time, the offer is huge - many machines, lots of maps, the possibility to set up private rooms and a wide range of modes: Free for all, Team Deathmatch, Survival, Last Man Standing, Capture The Flag, Free Roam . The joke is that you can't load bots into games. You can play against the team in Skirmish, where you can't play online again. Thus, the multiplayer game is almost dead.
The visual page corresponds to the fact that the game comes from mobile phones and has transferred this heritage to Switch. I think that if it was primarily made for the console, it might look better. however, it is not bad for mobile conditions and some things look pretty good. But the sounds are terribly horrible, which is really a pity. As if they were just generic loops from some database and probably probably free. It doesn't sound good, and if something goes away from the action, it's just sound. The music is so bland in the game that I had to turn on the game while I was writing the review and let it run to know that there was one at all. When you play it, you don't even notice it, which is good in action, but the game also offers some menu and the like, where you would like something at least.
Sky Gamblers: Afterburner is damaging the fact that the game has not completely rid its mobile heritage. Adjustments and changes to the current platform have not avoided it, but still more could be done - bring a longer campaign, longer missions, higher production value with better graphics and especially sound. Even so, the game still offers fun gameplay, and even the multiplayer would be a big plus point if it were to play with. And the most stupid bug hurts the game, which has nothing to do in such a title, and although it is not unplayable because of it, it still pisses you off once, you turn on the day and progress with experience is gone.