Over on PocketGamer.biz, as part of the One-man Band series of interviews, I caught up with Tak Fung.

He 'fessed up about his significant past with developers such as Lionhead and Sony, and, more importantly, his future plans with his debut iPhone game Mini Squadron.

Just over a month later, Tak's almost finished work on the game and so has nicely sent over a beta build for preview.

As the title suggests, the 2D side scroller is all about frantic dog-fighting action, combined with some Pokemon-style collect 'em all progression.

First things first, however. The controls are really simple, with a small virtual D-pad on the left hand side of the screen to control your plane in terms of moving it around the sky. Actually, it's less of a virtual D-pad and more of a circle you rotate your thumb around like an original iPod scroll wheel. You can change the sensitivity via the game's options.

The control of your plane is completely simple. You rotate your thumb to raise and drop the nose of the plane and if you keep rotating around, the plane does a loop-the-loop.

But what's really clever is the animation system makes sure your plane is always the right way up when you loop, which means you don't have to reverse controls as you'd otherwise have to do.

A similar animation happens when you reach the left and right edges of the side scrolling level. Like a swimmer's racing turn, your direction will be reversed.

Slightly more complex is how Tak deals with each level's height. The sky's colour fades to black the higher you go, until your plane stalls and reverses direction - effectively falling back to earth. The only way you can stop this is to gain speed by diving, after which you can control the plane as usual.

Explaining this might make the controls sound tricky, but really they're not and you'll pick up them straight away.

The only other thing you need to know is to keep your finger pressed down on the 'fire' button, which is on the right hand side of the screen.

There are 60 planes in total, of which you have to unlock 59. As is normal, each offers a different set of speed, armour, turning rate, reload time. and weapon. You choose which of your mini squadron to fight with at the start of each mission.

In the single-player mode, there are eight levels, of which you have to unlock seven.

There are 12 waves of enemies to defeat in each level, and basically you fly around blasting everything that's in the air.

Another neat touch is that because the levels are bigger than the screen, the position of off-screen enemies is shown by small arrows at the left and right hand edges. This is really useful as it means you can fly towards them, firing as you go.

To be honest, there's not a lot of strategy involved in Mini Squadron, although as you come up against tougher enemies, you'll need to mix up your attacks. If you're flying head on towards your enemies, they'll be able to fire directly at you, too, and that's not to mention those planes which shoot missiles, or the UFOs that hover in the sky.

In general, then, you'll be zooming around the sky, doing plenty of loop-to-loops to get on your enemies' tails, as well as trying to pick up the power up stars and extra life hearts as they fall. The power-ups can provide more health, speed you up, or slow you down, or provide better weapons such as shoot-'em-up style area beams and air strikes. But beware - the enemy planes can also pick them up.

What's most important, though, is that Mini Squadron feels really sweet to play, while the 'continue' option encourages addictive replay, while making sure you can't just breeze through the game without gaining any new skills.

All combined with excellent sprite graphics, the sort of piano-based music that's reminiscent of the Dastardly and Muttley Catch the Pigeon cartoon, plus a multiplayer option, and I'm expecting Mini Squadron to be on course to gain air supremacy over the App Store when it comes out in November.