Steambirds - Review

Steambirds has come to the Windows Phone Marketplace and if you like air combat games, you're going to want to check it out. Steambirds is a turn based, multi-level aerial combat game.

The combat view is from above and game play has a methodical touch by taking on the enemy planes one move at a time. There are multiple weapons at your disposal and a handful of aerial maneuvers that can help you take out the enemy planes.

To learn more on Steambirds, fly on past the break.

Game Layout

Looking at Steambird's main menu you have three setting buttons that turns on/off the sound effects, music and vibration. From there you have two game modes; missions and local versus.

Missions has three groups of levels; main, bonus and bonus II. The mission levels are progressive and represent various years and aerial combat missions beginning in 1916. All in all there are thirty missions to Steambirds. That's a little on the low side and hopefully the developer will add more in the near future. Luckily, each level is re-playable.

Local Versus game mode is a pass and play game where you select the aircraft that will see combat. You and your opponent then takes turns shooting up the sky.

The combat screen is touch maneuverable and depending on the mission, you may be controlling a single plane or multiple planes. You control the red planes and the goal is to wipe out your enemy planes with incurring as little damage yourself.

Game Play

Moving your plane is simple. At the beginning of each turn you have a tethered arrow that will control the direction your plane will move. Besides the arrow various icons representing special maneuvers (u-turns, burst of speed, etc.) or weapons (missiles, poison gas) will appear from time to time.

You tap and slide the arrow in the direction you want your plane to go or tap one of the side icons to implement a maneuver or fire a special weapon.

When the planes come into range of each other, their guns will automatically fire. Your job is to keep your plane out of the path of your enemies gun's path.

Should you take on damage, the damage will effect your planes performance. From rudder failures to gun jams, Steambirds uses this damage to make the game all the more challenging.

If you are in a position where you are controlling multiple planes, you can use one as a decoy to steer the enemy in one direction, while your second plane comes in from behind to take them out. Steambirds has enough combat action to keep you interested and enough strategy to keep you challenged.

Overall Impression

Steambirds is an entertaining, challenging, addictive game that air combat fans will enjoy and the game is strong enough to be attractive to others.

The only downside to Steambirds is the number of missions available. I suspect it is a good measure of a game when you reach that final level, you immediately want more. To bide the time until more levels are added, at least you can take some solace in replaying the levels to better your scores.

There is a free trial version available for Steambirds with the full version running $1.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

George Ponder

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.