BoomSky is a turn-based multiplayer strategy title with an engaging air-combat theme. Developed by NGames, the game puts you in control of customizable fighter aircrafts as they battle rival fighter jets, helicopters, bionic jets and a host cute, missile-packed aircraft across the sky. A strategy title from the makers of Pockie Ninja is a pleasant surprise, and it will be interesting to see if the game really appeals to both casual and hardcore gamers.
The game belongs to the artillery genre – a strategy sub-genre that involves turn-based combat between two or more assault vehicles. In an artillery game, battles take place in an open field, where assault vehicles (usually tanks) engage in head-to-head combat. The goal is to destroy the rival vehicle by adjusting the trajectory and velocity as accurately as possible in order to guide the missile in the right direction and hit its target. In case of BoomSky, head-to-head skirmishes take place across the sky, and instead of tanks players take control of snazzy warplanes.
The game begins with a mini-tutorial mode where you get recruited as a test pilot. The tutorial mode really helps newbie gamers get a hold on controls and other gameplay aspects. Seasoned artillery gamers will also find the tutorial mode quite useful as it sets a base for their multiplayer skirmishes. The goal is to destroy opponent's aircraft by adjusting the missile trajectory and speed. A dotted-line guide will help you set the trajectory. Once adjusted, you will need to press the spacebar to "recharge and attack", which is essentially the velocity at which the missile will travel and hit its target. BoomSky requires players to be patient, have a good sense of judgment and get their strategy straight. Setting the trajectory and the missile velocity is crucial, and so is aircraft elevation. A slight misjudgment in all three variables (speed, trajectory and height) will send the missile off target.
A combat mission starts with a player and his online opponent locking horns in turn-based combat, adjusting all 3 variables to hit each other's warplane and reducing the opponent aircraft to rubble. Once the health of either player reaches zero, the winner is declared. A player will need to win a mission to unlock warplane equipment, special weapons and additional missions and side-quests. Keeping a tab on mission via the mission menu will keep him updated with the current status. Completing missions will also unlock special buildings, which will allow players to repair and upgrade their vehicles as well as craft special weapons for them.
The heart of BoomSky's gameplay lies in its multiplayer modes. You can engage in head-to-head air combat against online opponents via the "Game Lobby" or team up with online players to complete party-based missions against AI warplanes via the "Expedition Harbor". During a multiplayer mission, gameplay gets a tad more difficult. The dotted trajectory guideline becomes invisible and so you will need some good judgment to determine the missile angle and speed in order to get an accurate hit. Multiplayer missions are fun, especially those that involve fighting against online players. The Game Lobby allows you to join a room or host your own and invite players to lock horns against your warplane. There are some really cool game modes available within the game lobby and they add variation to missions.
Expedition multiplayer mode is another brilliant game mode. Here, you will join a team of online players and a friendly AI aircraft to complete a variety of campaign missions. While I found this gameplay aspect quite impressive, I was disappointed with the waiting times. Upon joining a battle, I had to wait for several minutes before the start of campaign. There were those frustrating moments where all 4 players were ready, but the host wasn't, forcing me to join another room. You will need to wait for the right time to ensure all players are ready before the mission starts. Once a campaign mission starts, the gameplay transitions smoothly from one campaign level to another. After completing a campaign mission, you will be given a chance to change your warplane and add skills to enhance your air vehicle. Completing Expedition missions are crucial to level up and unlock more missions and buildings. You just cannot pass your time playing individual lobby missions. While I found game lobby missions simple and satisfying, Expedition missions gave a sense of a challenge, although there were frustrating moments which I discussed above. I am sure developers are looking into this matter and will make some improvements once the game is out of Beta mode.
The game offers variation by adding an RPG twist to the artillery genre. You can choose a starter aircraft, upgrade it and add more warplanes to your squadron. Upgrading your warplanes and leveling them up gives you an edge over your opponents. Not only can you level-up your warplanes and convert them into advanced combat machines, but also can upgrade them with additional equipment, special weapons and power-ups. A special in-game store lets you buy advanced warplanes and plenty of upgrade equipment that can be purchased with in-game cash or star coins (premium currency). Most of the advance weapons require real currency and so you have to spend some bucks if you are serious in progressing through challenging missions. Simply upgrading a warplane with basic equipment won't help, especially if the opponent aircraft is armed with the most powerful weapons and special attacks. While the role of real cash is important and can't be ignored, the game does give you a chance to earn special weapons and items for free if you complete challenging campaign missions and side-quests.
Visually, BoomSky's graphics are at par with the visuals of Advance Wars - an impressive Nintendo DS strategy. The anime-styled graphics are quite endearing and the battle animation perfectly executed. The artwork of each warplane is unique and stunning. The color palette is bright and vibrant, giving it a distinct look and making it stand out of the crowd. You can customize you warplane's colors and get a quasi-3D view of each plane via the Warplane menu. The menu also lets you add special skills to your aircraft. These skills get unlocked after completing a campaign, a quest or a mission successfully.
The animated movements, explosions and special effects are excellent. I quite liked the way the camera shakes when my missile hit a warplane. It gave me a sense of achievement. The game interface is simple to use with easy-to-access menus located at the bottom of the screen. During combat mode, I could access all power-ups and special skills effortlessly. It didn't take too much time to get accustomed to each interface icon as placing the mouse cursor would reveal the meaning and purpose of each power-up, skill, special attack menu etc.
BoomSky's air-combat twist to the familiar artillery genre adds uniqueness to the overall gameplay mechanic. The best part of the game is its multiplayer modes. Both Expedition mode and individual multiplayer scenarios are seriously challenging and pits you against some really serious strategy gamers. You must try battling high-level players to see how good they are at launching accurate missile attacks. All in all, the game does deliver and provides a satisfying artillery experience.
Self Introduction From Author:
|Anurag Ghosh is a social gaming aficionado who enjoys playing Facebook and browser-based games. He loves writing strategy guides, walkthroughs and tips/tricks that help newbie and expert gamers alike. Follow his guides and tips to learn more about your favorite social/browser games.|
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