iPhone Game Review: Hot Air

by: Tina -
I play a lot of iPhone games, and I enjoy many of them. It is very rare, however, that I actually adamantly encourage people to buy one of them. Every once in awhile, I’ll go to my SMS after playing a game and send my brother a very succinct message. Recently, he received a message from me saying: “Hot Air. App Store.” He recognizes the urgency of this message and interprets the underlying meaning: buy immediately, this is pretty damn good.

Maybe you’ll disagree with me, but I like the kind of iPhone game that is simple, fun, and lasting, and that is exactly what Hot Air provides for my mobile gaming experience.

You navigate your hot air balloon by giving it bursts of air with a tap, and giving it direction by tilting your iPhone appropriately (aka left or right, or you can check the option to reverse this). The more you tap, the higher it goes. Simple enough controls. The goal of navigating your hot air balloon is to go as high as you can without getting popped by the randomly placed and randomly sized tacks, as well as without falling below the screen dimension. You’ll figure out early on in playing the game how many taps will keep you at a desired medium in the center of the screen: high enough to not fall, but low enough to see what assortment of tacks is coming next.

Randomly, you’ll also be thrown a bone by the airplane that will swing around every once in awhile. You’ll get items like a BOOST package, or a SHRINK package to help you wrack up those distance-traveled points. You’ll also come across other sharp objects that are out to pop your bubble. Be warned, however: the farther you go, the harder it gets as some of these sharp objects seem like they are defying the laws of gravity in shooting down towards you.

So we’ve got simple controls, simple goal, and simple power-ups. This combination proves to be quite an addicting set-up as an iPhone game, and it’s the perfect App to whip out when you get that call that you’re friend is running 10 minutes late (or half an hour – bastards).

What’s more is that the game is drawn in an awesome pencil+loose leaf manner. If I were still in high school, this game would definitely beat the pants off hangman when lazy gaming time called during lectures. As you go higher, you’ll approach other environments and trade the clouds in for the stars: similar to Flight of the Hamsters where you can reach outer space. While it is a small addition, it’s definitely appreciated and is sort of like a motivator to keep you wanting to go higher. The music is pretty good, too, and the sound affects that key in when you give more air to your dirigible make it a bit easier to track how many taps you should be giving it.

In the spirit of the approaching holiday - Thanksgiving - developers at eyedip have also included add-ons for aesthetic and celebratory purposes. You can see in one of the screenshots that you’ll be flying and navigating a turkey as opposed to your hot air balloon. It looks like turkey is in for some cooking in an oven instead, as I do not know how he’s making it past those rows of tacks.

How worth it is the game exactly? Well, seeing that I don’t make suggestions to actually purchasing a game very often, I’d say it’s pretty worth it.

Hot Air
: $0.99

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