Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a first person shooter Windows Phone game that places you behind a helicopter mounted machine gun. In a nutshell, you fly around a village destroying enemy targets as they appear.
Graphics are nice, game mechanics could be a little better and the variety of targets range from enemy helicopters to ground troops. In just playing Heli Gunner 2 for the past few days the game has potential but just lacks that "something-something" to keep you pulled into the game.
Heli Gunner 2's main menu is brief with options to jump into game play, view the gaming instructions, view more games from the developer and mute the sound. Instructions are covered on a single screen and while they cover the basics, leave a good bit for you to discover on your own.
Game play is organized in levels but not in the traditional sense. You will have an assortment of objectives (take out "x" number of troops, destroy "x" number of helicopters, etc.) and as you accomplish these goals, you seamlessly transition to the next level of play and new set of objectives.
Game play is somewhat simple with Heli Gunner 2 but isn't without challenges. The helicopter flies around an island village automatically with you manning the machine gun and shooting everything in sight. To aim and fire the gun, just tap and drag your finger across the screen. Tapping the screen will not only aim your weapon but also fire it.
The layout of the gaming screen has your level objectives in the upper left corner followed by your health, level number and money count. As you take out the enemy you will earn cash that as far as I can tell is simply your score. There are no opportunities to upgrade weapons, armor on the helicopter or other means to spend the cash.
Your machine gun has an endless supply of ammunition but will overheat if you maintain gun fire for too long. The barrels of the machine gun will begin to glow red and when overheated you'll need to rest the gun for a few seconds.
Again, targets are mainly enemy troops and helicopter that you will face. There are gasoline barrel that you can explode and what appears to be a chicken that runs around the village that you can take out. I'm not sure if it was score related or the fact that I shot the chicken but when I did, I received a bonus weapon (grenade launcher).
The enemy will shoot back, at times using rockets. Your only defense against the rockets is to shoot them down before they hit your helicopter. Sustain enough damage and loose all your life points, the game ends. You do have those annoying, full-page ads with Heli Gunner 2 but thankfully they are only present during the transition from the main menu to the game or after you get blown out of the sky.
Heli Gunner 2 was a fun game to play for a few minutes but then grew a little stale. The concept isn't all that bad but flying around the same village, over and over, to take out the same enemy gets old.
To the game's credit, once you pass level four the enemies get more aggressive making the game a bit more challenging. But you still circle the same village.
You can try to mix things up by shooting up the buildings but they apparently are made of super-duper Kevlar siding and can't be damaged. You can blow up the gas barrels (which magically regenerate) but that even gets old. Then there's the stray chicken that runs around the village that you can try to shoot. It just gets old shooting up the same things over and over.
I would have preferred a change of scenery (and maybe a few more targets) after every few levels to keep the game fresh. Gaming controls aren't too bad but I would have preferred an on-screen fire control button for the machine gun. You aren't penalized for shooting up the countryside as you move your gun around but a fire control button would help avoid any weapon overheating issues.
To say Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat is a bad game isn't exactly on the spot. As is, the game doesn't have much staying power but does have potential. With a little fine-tuning and scenery changes, Heli Gunner 2 wouldn't be a bad title to have in your Windows Phone gaming library.
- Heli Gunner 2 – frontline air combat – Windows Phone 8 – Free – Store Link
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.