Mini Dogfight is an air combat Windows Phone game that puts you behind the controls of World War I era fighter planes. The mission oriented game pits you against a host of enemy Aces where you battle to be the Top Ace.
Available for low-memory devices, Mini Dogfight offers a host of planes from single winged fighters to sea planes to bi-planes. Power-ups and health bonuses fall from the sky during combat missions to help improve your chances and there are currently ten missions where you will face off against enemy Aces to fight.
Graphics are nicely drawn up, game play challenging and overall Mini Dogfight is a fun game to pass the time with.
Your main menu with Mini Dogfight offers you the options to play the game, access the gaming options, visit the game store, view the trailer video, access the game's Facebook page and view your achievements. Options cover sound/music levels, language choices and control options.
The control options are a little bit of a mystery. By default you have an on-screen directional pad and fire button to fly your plane with. You can choose to hide these controls and use the left side of the screen to control flight and tap the right side to fire you machine gun. The confusion comes into play with the settings icons showing a keyboard/mouse on one option and a touch screen on the other.
My advice is to go with the default settings and don't try making heads or tails of things. The on-screen controls are easier to use and I found the alternative method to be less responsive.
When you first launch Mini Dogfight, you will set up your pilot by choosing a player icon and buy your first plane. Characters in Mini Dogfight are depicted by cartoon animals that includes foxes, wolves, dogs, cats and other furry creatures. Your plane choices are rather limited to a single engine, German Fokker and a British, twin-wing DHII.
The plane hangar in Mini Dogfight is where you can buy, upgrade and repair your fleet of airplanes. Each plane available will have a listing of its speed, agility, weapon and armor strengths. You can upgrade each of these abilities, as well as buy new planes, with the gold you earn during game play.
Should a plane become damaged during battle, it will take time to repair the damage. If the damage is minor, you can continue to use the plane in battle. Repairs to planes too damaged to use in battle can be quickly repaired by using diamonds that are earned through game play or purchased in the game's store via in-app purchase.
Once you have your pilot and plane ready, your first mission is a training mission to get you familiar with the various aspects of the game. From there you take on the ten missions to defeat the enemy Aces. These missions offer a wide range of backdrops for your battles ranging from a battle over the sea to battles over mountain villas.
Again, I recommend using the on-screen controls that will line the bottom of the screen. The directional pad controls your planes movement and the fire button unleashes your plane's machine gun. Along with the on-screen controls you will find your gaming stats displayed across the top of the screen.
From left to right the gaming stats include your plane's health, your player icon, your gold count, your diamond count, the number of plane you have to defeat and the number of waves left in the mission.
Game play is straightforward in that you have to destroy the enemy before they destroy you. Along with battling enemy airplanes, you will also have to contend with ground anti-aircraft cannons.
Periodically throughout the battle, power-ups and health kits will drift down the screen on parachutes. Just be careful because enemy planes can steal these bonuses if they reach them first.
You can fly into the ground but mid-air collisions are not possible. Your plane will also defy the laws of physics and turn around on a dime. The game is fun and challenging but definitely an arcade game, not a realistic flight simulator.
Combat can get intense because it is you against everyone else. Most waves have you fighting multiple planes at once, as well as dealing with anti-aircraft guns. Luckily, if you get shot down and have purchased additional planes you can resume the battle using those planes. If your remaining planes are too damaged to use, you can spend one of your diamond to repair them instantly and resume the battle.
Mini Dogfight is a nicely animated, challenging air combat game for our Windows Phone. The controls will take a few tries to get used to and you will find yourself outnumbered by the enemy often (just adds to the challenge).
The game has a nice historical selection of combat airplanes to fly and plenty of power-ups that fall from the sky during battles. Possibly the only downside is that the game currently only has ten missions to tackle. On the plus side, these missions are no cake walk and the developer has additional missions in the works.
Overall, Mini Dogfight is a fun game to pass the time with. The game scores a 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store, which is about where we'd rate it and I could see Mini-Dogfight being equally enjoyable game played from a Windows 8 tablet.