Published on December 10th, 2018 | by Kirk Hiner0
BEST Apple TV Games: Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders 2
Atypical Games is quickly becoming a favorite of ours here at BEST Apple TV. This is partially due to the amount of support they give Apple TV gamers, with 50% of their iOS games also getting tvOS releases. But it’s also because of the quality of those games, and I’m happy to report that their latest arcade flight sim—Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders 2—is no exception.
Set during WWII, Storm Raiders 2 puts you in the cockpit of myriad planes from the Allied and Axis powers…well, once you’ve either unlocked or purchased them, anyway.
You start out in story mode with just one plane, defending Pearl Harbor on that infamous day. Storm Raiders 2 does give you two quick tutorials to learn your way, but otherwise thrusts you right into the action. And honestly, the tutorials aren’t without their glitches. One wouldn’t let me progress until I completed the maneuver it just taught. Except that I had completed it, and only after a few more minutes of random turns and banks did the game move on.
Once past that, though, I had no problems. You’re given two control schemes, one of which creates a more arcade-like experience while the other provides more precise control. You’ll need to have a gamepad for either, as there’s just too much happening here to effectively control with the Siri Remote. In addition to thrust, lift, banking and firing, a set of pre-defined maneuvers has been assigned to the gamepad’s D-pad. This was useful during some dogfights, although I found it often wasn’t enough for shaking bogeys. You’ll be happier once you’ve advanced to the point where you can use the more precise control scheme.
However, you’re controlling the plane, the landscapes are beautiful to fly through. We’re not quite talking console quality graphics here, but the weather effects and the amount of ground detail present some stunning vistas. Perhaps even more impressive is the amount of activity in the skies. Not all of it seems to be for interaction—some of the planes seem unreachable and the explosions scripted—but it adds to the intensity of the dogfights in all game modes.
Speaking of those, the story campaign is fun if not all that compelling. It’s also not very long, but manages to cram a wide variety of missions into its short tenure. Whether you’re escorting bombers, defending bases, or dive-bombing ships, Storm Raiders 2 keeps you busy with lengthy missions that will frequently change objectives.
Of course, there are multiple online components, as well. Storm Raiders 2 offers Survival, Last Man Standing, Last Team Standing, Free Flight, Free for All, Team Match, Capture the Flag and Defend the Base for its online players, most of whom were surprisingly good very quickly after the game’s release. In other words, you’ll want to spend plenty of time practicing and playing through the story mode before going online against human opponents. Once you’re ready, however, the online modes are tremendous fun and are where you’ll spend most of your time.
Earlier, I mentioned the option to purchase new planes via IAPs. Although Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders 2 is a $4.99 purchase, you’ll need to spend a bit more to get access to everything quickly. You don’t need to, but another $10 will get you access to all the planes, which you can customize with better weapons and custom paint jobs. You can also get cheaper packs specific to the Allied or Axis powers, in case you still hold a grudge.
With Sky Gamblers – Storm Raiders 2, Atypical Games has proven their mastery of the arcade flight sim. Gorgeous to look at and exciting to play, it’s easily one of the best games available for Apple TV, and is fun to play on your iPhone, too. In fact, with support for cloud saves, your $4.99 purchase means you can do both.