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Best iPad Apps by Peter Meyers

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Combat

Best App for Fighter Plane Combat

Best App for Fighter Plane Combat


$0.99
Version: 1.0 | Art in Games

At just under a buck, Air Attack HD earns a bonus award for best price per screenful of graphical awesomeness. Your mission: steer an astonishingly nimble airship through a 3D-riffic missile storm of enemy fire. Eight levels await, each a new showcase for a Nazi-powered sea, ground, and air assault. The enemies you face range from standard fare (tanks, gunships) to physics-defying Franken-machines. It also richly rewards gaming fighter pilot newbies with a quickly gratifying (experienced shooters might call it wimpy) rollup of enemy kills.

AirAttack HD

COCKPIT CONTROL: A generous “restart where you left off” option means plenty of chances to hone your fighting chops. Experiment with the different control modes till you find the one that best suits your hand/eye skills. “Tilt” turns the iPad into a combo display/steering wheel; “touch” lets you use finger-tracing control to pick your path. If you go the touch route, laying the iPad on a table makes it easier to sketch your plane’s route.

ATTACK FLAK: The game favors pilots who bob and weave versus those who lay back and play a baseline, defensive game. Your plane’s guns remain on auto fire, so all you need to concentrate on is steering and controlling the special weapons you earn as you progress.

Best App for Helicopter Combat

Best App for Helicopter Combat


$2.99
Version: 1.1 | Majic Jungle Software

Helicopter legend Igor Sikorsky called the machines his firm manufactured the best chance we had to fulfill “mankind’s ancient dreams of the flying horse and the magic carpet”; here’s your chance to get a virtual taste of what inspired such rhetoric. Oh yeah, and while you’re piloting your bird over multiple terrains (hills and valleys; desert; mountain and snow), you’ll need to rescue civilians, ferry intelligence agents, and kill bad guys, all before time runs out or you crash. Aim your weapons by pointing the red line at what you want to hit; tap anywhere on the screen to fire. The stakes are high, but the overall vibe is, somehow, relaxing.

FLY THIS WAY: Three steering modes: tilt (towards and away from you control height; clockwise tilts propels you faster), touch (press an onscreen dial to control height; great if you’ve got airplane neighbors you don’t want to elbow; lousy if you’re a finger spaz), and remote. The lower you fly to the ground, the faster you go. But watch out: low altitude nuisances like trees, birds, and small weapons fire mean you can’t just skim just above the surface.

OTHER ACTION: Special bonus for iPhone and iPod Touch owners: use your handheld to pilot your chopper. Worthwhile: pop in a pair of headphones and catch the nuances of a soundtrack that your ’Pad’s speakers don’t do justice (“Yes!”, your rescued passengers cry; shrieks of agony from banged-up bad guys; the rustle of military drums). Kill tip: you can also scoop in and chopper-bash your enemies by bonking ’em with the nose of your bird. Ouch.

Chopper 2

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