Strike Wing: Raptor Rising takes gamers into a world where space combat falls like a thousand raindrops. If you've ever dreamed of flying a tie fighter or an x-wing, simulation driven apps are probably your cup of tea. I was in the mood for some intergalactic action, so this starry journey was a long time coming.

The first step is to figure out which type of control suits your preference. As a virtual joystick fan, having the directional button on the left side and the weapon icons on my right makes Strike Wing easy enough to navigate. When I'm getting my ship blasted with lasers, I press on a hyper speed button that's located in the same area. Tracking down your enemies is also pretty easy, as red indicators appear in your target sight line. Under this engagement, I pressed my speed button to catch up and obliterate my adversary.

Players who want to use their entire device to fly their craft can choose the accelerator controls which enables them to veer off into any direction they choose. Although I crashed and burned during my attempts, it was mainly due to my below average coordination skills. You can calibrate your device to suit your sensitivity during your flight, so it's a mechanic that will work just as well as the virtual joystick mode.

No matter what controls are chosen, everyone starts off on the same level playing field. An F28 Hawk is the mandatory fighter employed during the initial mission. The goal of the first challenge is to take out as many bad guys as possible before meeting your own demise.

The more waves of crafts you destroy, the higher the score and the more credits you'll receive by the end of the mission. Racking up credits enables you to purchase more sophisticated flying machines, and you'll need these missile spewing beasts to unlock new missions. Until you master flying your F28 and eliminating scores of enemies in the process, you'll be stuck on the same mission.

Even though it may take a bunch of attempts before you advance to the next mission, just enjoy the ride. Strike Wing: Raptor Rising is a totally addicting game to play, especially if you love the simulated feel of flight. You may feel a bit dizzy from the experience on occasion, and in those cases make sure you have a wingman at your six.

Your second mission entails flying a bomber craft called the F25 Cormoran and destroying a transport ship that is aiding a group of insurgent fighters. Although I have missiles at my disposal, taking out a large craft while being attacked from different directions is a challenging task. Under this sequence, my shields are totally destroyed and my health is rapidly sinking. Translation: game over in several seconds.

There are in-app purchases available in Strike Wing: Raptor Rising, but if you want to earn you levels and vehicles the organic way, spending beyond the $0.99 download is unnecessary. The main attraction behind this app is to fly and fire away at your hearts content, and its first rate control mechanics and no nonsense adventure aesthetic makes this a more than worthy download.

Don't expect an epic, thematically rich space opera with Strike Wing: Raptor Rising. Just boldly fly your raptor, shoot down a few punks who get in your way, and learn how to duck and run once your shields get depleted. Although it's a simplistic app in scope, it definitely flies in the right direction.


App Store Link: Strike Wing: Raptor Rising for iPhone & iPad | By Crescent Moon Games | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 47.4 MB | Rating 9+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating