Okay, I have a confession. I never had a Mac. But when I was growing up, I always liked going over the my friend Keith's house because he had a Mac, and we could play Castle Wolfenstein and Choplifter (my parents PC only had Castle at the time). There may have been other games, but those are the two that I remember. So I was very excited to see when a Choplifter-type game came out for the iPhone - Chopper.
In Chopper, you play a helicopter pilot whose goal is to rescue various civilians who have been abandonded. Oh, and stay alive - that's an important part as well. You fly your helicopter by tilting the iPhone - left and right to fly in that direction, forward and back to move up or down. The controls are very intuitive, and learning to fly the helicopter is very easy.
You start off on simple missions of flying, landing, and picking up civilians. The missions get more and more complex (more civilians to pick up, more buildings, different weather, etc). Eventually you also add bad guys who are trying to shoot you down. Luckilly, your chopper is equipped with guns and bombs, so you can fight back. Just be careful you don't accidentilly shoot a civilian while killing a bad guy!
You score is based on how many civilians you rescue (versus kill) and how many bad guys you kill. You start off the game with three lives, but can get extra lives as the game progresses.
The graphics are very straighforward - nice for the game in the sense it is easy to recognize bad guys and good guys. The are clean, and the scrolling when flying around is very smooth. The controls, as I mentioned, are easy to learn, although I wish the controls for the gun and bombs were at a different location (they are at the top of the screen - it would be easier for me to hit them at the bottom of the screen).
There are four gameplay modes - normal, hard, hard, and pacifist. Just a quick note - I thought pacifist mode would be one with no bad guys, so I gave it to my daughter to play in that mode. However, what it really means is that there [i]are[/]i bad guys, you just don't have any weapons to use (they do, however). Needless to say, my daughter got shot down pretty quickly. The harder modes start of with bad guys right away, and get harder from there! You can also save your progress at any point to resume the game later (a nice feature!). Alas, there is no multiplayer mode, but you can't have everything.
Pros: Nice graphics, easy game play
Cons: Nothing really
All in all, this is a fun, simple to learn game but one that can be hard to beat since it gets progressively more difficult. Plus, it bring back fun memories of choplifter. It is currently on sale for 80% off, $99, but in a couple of days it will go back to the normal $4.99 price. At $4.99, I still consider the game worthwhile, so at $.99 it is a steal! Five out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.