Android App Video Review: IronPlane HD

by Andrew Koziara

Today we're going to talk about a lovely app called IronPlane HD, developed by SwanAngel. I was fooled into thinking this was a half decent indie game, like many of the ones I've reviewed. Not great, but definitely playable and enjoyable on some level. I was sorely mistaken and I've come to share those mistakes with you.

IronPlane HD is a standard shoot-em-up game. You control the plane and fire at enemies that rain down from the top of the screen. The controls are absolutely terrible, to the point that the word control can no longer legally define them. You have four directional buttons and another button in the middle of them all. This is because when you press a direction, you send your plane in that direction automatically, and they will not stop moving until you press another direction or the stop button in the middle. There is a fire button, though the firing is quite slow, a screen-clearing bomb button, and pause button. There is also a fourth button on the left there, and I have absolutely no idea what this button does. None.

The game basically consists of enemies homing in towards you, politely lining up in front of your gun. It only becomes difficult when enemies spawn out of the sides of the screen, which they can do even at the very bottom of the screen. Since your ship is faster, you can move up the screen, outrunning them and getting them away from the bottom so that you can maneuver underneath them and fire. Now, I will admit that the game becomes infinitely more playable using the accelerometer controls, except there is no way to tweak the sensitivity of the these controls, and you always have to play from the exact same angle. The degree to which you have to tilt makes it completely un-filmable, unfortunately.

When you start the game, you choose between the slow plasma fire, and a laser. The laser acts like a sword, and you have to run up and punch enemies in the face with it to kill them. After you select your ship, you are treated to the story of the game. The story is told through extremely slowly scrolling words. Words arranged into fragmented, incomplete sentences. Also, for whatever reason, it scrolls in the very top left quadrant of the screen, leaving a ton of empty space. I just don't understand the decisions that went into this game at all. The reasons I decided to give it a review were that the screenshots looked alright, the game has over 40 five-star reviews, and the fact that it actually cost money and had HD in the title. There is nothing HD about this game, except maybe a few really well-done backgrounds. All the sprites are blurry blobs of color. The user interface is god-awful and you can barely make out all the icons on the screen, which are communicating all important information to the player.

The music is pretty good, though most of the game play has no music, and the sound effects all sound like basic stock effects. The game also has a tendency to crash, which is just the cherry to top everything off. The game honestly has some things going for it, but it's just so unplayable. Does it just not work on my device or something? Also, I have no idea how this app is 24 megabytes. I hate to totally trash a game like I have been, but there is no way this game is worth the two dollars these people are asking for it. Everyone, just stay away. Just stay as far away as you can.

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