There are times when I am sitting in a traffic jam or on a busy train and I just wish that I could jump into a jet fighter plane and reach my destination in mere seconds. There is also another wish that involves guns and explosions, but that’s another story. For now, let’s concentrate on the idea of flying a jet fighter plane whilst sitting in the car. Or on the bus, Or the train. You get the idea.
Eurofighter, also known as SU-30, is a top-down scrolling shooter from HeroCraft for mobile platforms. I will be playing it on my trusty BlackBerry Bold 9700, in between checking email and making far too many notes.
The player takes to the skies in control of a jet fighter plane and is tasked with various missions as they fly over enemy territory, taking out all manner of land, sea and air craft. These various boats, tanks, helicopters and jets are all intent on removing you from the sky and dwindling your lives down to zero. They will all move around, or across, the screen whilst firing their own weapons at you with incredible accuracy, forcing evasive maneuvers.
Fighting back this threat is a simple matter of pointing your plane in the right direction. The forward firing guns are set to fire all of the time, so it really is a matter of pointing in the right direction. This is quite handy given the limitations of the buttons on a mobile device. That being said, the player will be able to find power-ups throughout the levels that will increase this firepower, including one will require an extra button to use. They will also be able to find repair power-ups and bonus points.
But on the subject of controls, how does the game play on the BlackBerry? Well, the last two BlackBerry games that I have played, Farm Frenzy and Zum-Zum, both made good use of the touchpad for simple game controlling. Eurofighter also allows the player to use the touchpad, but I found that it was far too slow to respond and made the game unplayable. As a result, I had to resort to standard phone controls using the numeric keypad instead. This is a slight problem on the BlackBerry as the keys are just so small and set to one side of the handset. However, once the player gets accustomed to the size and placement of the required keys, it all works very well.
Eurofighter is probably the fastest game that I have played on my BlackBerry thus far and was actually a lot of fun. The game includes 12 levels of shooter action to work through, with each level getting progressively harder and more populated with bad guys. The graphics have a decidedly retro feel about them, but are quite adequate given the subject matter and the platform.
If taking to the skies and eliminating various threats sounds like the sort of thing you would like to spend time doing on your BlackBerry, then Eurofighter is certainly the best game of this type that I have seen so far. Be warned that the game does not make the best use of the touchpad and that the controls can be a bit finicky. Otherwise this is a mighty fine game. See you in the skies.
Eurofighter (Su-30) is available from the HeroCraft website for £1.50 + WAP/GPRS-fees