The downloadable game “Altitude” harkens backs to good old fashioned arcade-styled 2D play, like the classic “Defender”.
The game play in “Altitude” is fun, fast and furious. Pick your plane and pick your combat load and off you go. You, by yourself, or in a team have to accomplish a mission while a team of human opponents or bots try and stop you by shooting you down; which happens often. The play map bear no resemblance to reality, so your piloting skills had better develop fast or you’ll find yourself crashing; again often. Power-ups are everywhere, getting them before your enemies do add to your survival chances. Each plane has limited energy, which is used to power weapons and afterburners. Keeping track of this fuel takes some getting used to. Using it effectively takes some practice as well. At the start the player will often run out of fuel and ammo and find themselves dead and having to revive and start again. Although after a couple of games the actual piloting control skill gets better, because, frankly if your skills don’t improve you’ll just continue to die and die again.
Using a reward system that uses a formula of time of play and kills, as you advance you get more weapons and other gadgets and improvements for your flying machine. But this system of play so disadvanges the new players as they compete against the more experienced players, as in real war, the veterans will do most of the killin’ and the new guys do most of the dyin’. Unfortunately, even for veterans, luck plays more of a role than skill in most of the individual games.
The shaded cell style of graphics in “Altitude” is cute and entertaining, with a real sense of cartoon fun. The maps look good even if they are sometimes a bit tight for the maximum possible 14 players per game. The sound is effective with distinctive engine and weapons sounds for each kind. The sounds have real value in the game play as sometimes the sounds give warnings about approaching enemies.
“Altitude” rates high on creativity and innovation. You haven’t seen or played anything like this before. You will not find 2D flying dogfight games everywhere after all and certainly not one with the fine looks and fun play.
In short the downloadable game “Altitude” is a fun, great looking little game which is a great value at just 10.00 dollars American.