iPhone gaming expectations are a moving target.
What's hot on the App Store one day is out the next. Even sequels of popular games have a tough time grappling with the constant change.
So what better way for Cobra Mobile to future-proof iBomber 2 than to add more moving targets?
Enjoyable and addictive, albeit with some rough edges, 2009's iBomber proved its success with over 3 million downloads. The gameplay was really simple, as you took to the air as a bomber pilot, frantically tapping your big red 'drop' button as Nazi targets drifted past beneath you.Aiming ahead
Things are more fluid in iBomber 2, which is loosely set in the North African and European theatres of World War II in 1943-44. Not only do you get more exciting things to drop, but the scenarios are more dynamic.
One again, the bulk of missions are of the '"if you can see it, drop a bomb on it" variety. In levels such as Seahorse, though, you have protect a spy car as it races to escape through an enemy base, and in Nemesis you're defending an army position for an all-out tank rush.
Many of the others missions include moving columns of trucks and vehicles for you to target, while Jackal is interesting as you're only provided with torpedoes to drop. Instead of flying directly overhead, torpedoes require you to line up at 90-degrees with your target and aim from farther back.Bigger bomb bay
New ordnance subtly changes the gameplay. Cluster bombs, fast-dropping rocket bombs, and big bombs are back, but now you have the option to call in area-wide artillery strikes and carpet bomb targets.
Along with health pickups, you get a bit of defensive aid in the form of two Spitfires that join you and take some of your damage - useful as later missions can be tricky, especially when you come up against those historically inaccurate German ground-to-air missiles.
Of course, the dividing line between simple pleasure and anything more sophisticated in a game such as this is thin. Tactically, you don't have to do much: keep tapping the 'Drop Bomb' button and you'll eventually complete the level.
While you do get better at aiming through the course of play, there's surprisingly no medal for accuracy. It's not even recorded in the otherwise exhaustive Statistics menu. Clearly, this is game of indiscriminate action, not pinpoint precision.One drop shop
There's not a lot of replayability beyond the fact that the game is just fun to play again, thanks to its nice presentation in terms of graphics - big explosions - and good audio effects, including rousing music. You can burn through it in less than a hour.
Depending on your commitment, though, you can play each of the 12 levels in Casual, Normal, and Elite modes, and there are different medals to collect depending on how well you do in each mission in terms of the various optional sub-missions.
In general, iBomber 2 does everything a good sequel should. There are new items and gameplay to experience, and it improves the template - my original complaint about hitting the edges of maps has been elegantly dealt with.
Crucially, it retains all that was enjoyable about original, and it works pretty well on iPad too, despite only being an iPhone title. Consider the target hit.