Air Mail™ ($4.99) by Chillingo Ltd is a flight adventure unparalleled in terms of graphics and gameplay by any iOS title (except for the latest Sky Gamblers).
The game is about a boy, later dubbed “Scoop,” who becomes the youngest pilot, and the savior, of the island of Domeeka. You play as Scoop while completing various missions or just exploring the vast areas. Along the way, you’ll meet character’s full of personality and scare the heck out of invading pigeons.
Air Mail features some real eye candy. The graphics are just amazing on the iPhone 4, and there are enhancements for the lucky people with new iPads. Thankfully, the frame rate is smooth which means you’ll be able to fly at maximum speed without flying through walls.
Scoop’s story is told through missions. There are 26 missions spread over seven chapters, each chapter taking place in a different locale. Over the course of the game, you will take your first flight, and you will see Domeeka up in flames. While you won’t have any guns on your ship, you will be fired at countless times by the enemy.
Missions will have you performing various tasks, ranging from picking up fish, to dousing flames, and from disarming warships to, delivering mail. All of these tasks are a joy to take on thanks to the controls. Choose from three control schemes: tilt, touch, and “advanced.” Tilt is pretty self explanatory. Touch gives you two sticks, one for movement and one for speed. Advanced is a bit trickier, with a speed slider on the bottom, and two sliders on the sides for movement. Personally, I stick with the touch scheme as it works perfectly.
To keep things interesting, there are three game modes available: mission mode, express delivery, and explore mode. Mission mode is your basic story mode. Express delivery is basically a job board. Currently there are only four jobs to take on, but more are coming in updates. Explore mode is just what it sounds like. Explore each area that you have unlocked in peace and solitude. This is really awesome as the areas are huge and intricate, with various surprises for you to find.
For you achievement hunters out there, Air Mail provides plenty of things to unlock. In each area from explore mode, there are 20 scrolls to find and collect. Collecting all 20 in an area will unlock a unique paint job for your plane. Furthermore, in each level in mission mode, there is a golden monkey hidden somewhere in the map. Collecting every single golden monkey (this is pretty freakin’ hard) will unlock the invincible “Golden Plane.” This plane is invulnerable to enemy attacks and looks awesome. On top of that, the game tracks every stat possible and also has 18 achievements.
There isn’t much not to like about Air Mail. The game is complex enough to keep hardcore gamers at bay, yet it is easy enough to pick up for casual gamers to have a blast with it. Let’s hope that the Express Delivery mode is expanded in future updates. Apart from that, what else can you ask for?
Giveaway: If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Air Mail, just leave a quick comment below (make sure you have a valid email address) before May 26 at 12:01 p.m. PDT. We’ll choose one lucky winner at random. Good luck!