Airplane Duel (Formerly Biplane Duel)
Release Date:February 16, 2010
Summary:The game will setup a Bluetooth connection. Requires 2 players and 2 iPhone or iPod touch devices. Score 15 points first, by shooting down your opponent's plane or the ascending balloon... and by not crashing your own plane!
Cohabitation can be a real relationship breaker. If one partner puts in little effort cleaning, or even keeping the home neat and tidy *sheepish grin*, plates can fly and couches can become beds. Luckily, with the Bluetooth-enabled iPhone we can take our frustrations out on each other by tapping on a screen. Biplane Duel, by www.caweb.de, is a one-on-one multiplayer game that almost led to the demise of my relationship! Okay, not really, but I wanted to open this review with a bang. BANG!
I often refer to the simplicity of games in my reviews. Maybe my subconscious leans towards these types of apps, or maybe it’s just the luck of the draw. In any case, Biplane Duel is a ridiculously simple, yet very fun side-view game. You and your partner, or the computer, face propeller to propeller ad opposite ends of the screen and have to fight it out for ultimate side-view supremacy in a race to 15 points. You gain points by shooting one another or by shooting a hot air balloon that takes off periodically on a platform in the middle of the screen. That’s it, almost.
There is also a “Practice” mode that allows you to play against the computer. It’s one of two disappointments in this otherwise sharp, fun app. Practice mode allows you to choose your plane color (oddly enough, in multiplayer mode I always seemed to be red and my girlfriend green, regardless of whether I or she hosted) and the difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard). Easy difficulty is a joke – the computer opponent doesn’t do anything buy fly diagonally upwards; Medium difficulty is less of a joke – the computer opponent goes after the balloon once it is released; Hard difficulty is a joke in a different way – it’s nearly impossible. Your computer opponent pounces on you as well as the balloon like a leopard, forcing you to trick it into crashing, or out-gun it from the get-go so you gain the advantage and can somewhat control the scenario. It turns the game into blitzkrieg vs. blitzkrieg, which is daunting at first, fun for a while, and repetitive shortly thereafter. As I write this, it does occur to me that maybe this is a specifically designed method to teach you different tactics for different opponents. Maybe that’s why it’s “Practice” and not “Vs. Computer” mode. Either way, the game would benefit from a more dynamically hard computer, or difference scenarios – the odd plateau-like and blue partly cloudy sky do get old.
The second disappointment is that the game only uses Bluetooth for multiplayer connectivity, which went from smooth to so laggy that the game was unplayable. WiFi would be nice. I would also like to see the ability to have 3 or 4 players. I think this would greatly change the dynamics and make for a much more fun game.
Despite some drawbacks, Biplane Duel is still really fun and solid in multiplayer and computer mode, respectively. At $0.99, Biplane Duel is a definite go.
UPDATE: Upon publishing this review, I realized Biplane Duel was no longer available for download. I contacted the developer for more information. I received a reply saying that the game will be available for download shortly as “Airplane Duel”. The new and improved game will address some of the concerns I had in this review and has some new textures.
UPDATE 2: Airplane Duel is now available for download! Check out the promo codes below.
*When using the promotion code to download for free, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Out of courtesy, please leave a comment below mentioning you’ve used the promotion code.