The developer, KuduQ Entertainment, is a small company based in the USA. They focus on creating titles that are suitable for armchair co-op, for example playing with a friend in the same room having fun over a glass of wine, or teaming up in the dentist’s waiting room, or laughing and playing a game with the kids right before a bedtime story after a commute from work.
The ease with which TeamThunder connects two devices for co-op gameplay is impressive. Players simple have to decide who will host and who will join a game, and once ready the game connects them automatically over a WiFi LAN. There is no need to bother with entering IP addresses or port numbers. Players can then immerse themselves into the helicopter battle action by playing the roles of pilot and gunner in a chosen mission.
The pilot can play in either 1st or 3rd person view and can fire unguided rockets. The gunner has several abilities at his disposal with several different view modes, including a FLIR night vision mode, while using the gunship’s 20mm gun or laser guided missiles to decimate enemy vehicles and tanks. Gunner aim is gyro stabilized to eliminate camera shake due to helicopter movements and feature a zoom function, along with target selection and acquisition. The flight physics are realistic and customizable. The pilot can engage or disengage hover mode for landing assist or to give the gunner a chance to engage many enemies. The missions include a free flight mode and two tutorial missions that brave pilots can skip if they desire to get into the action faster.
The game includes ‘novice’ and ‘expert’ flight modes to select from. In expert mode, the helicopter can perform aerobatic maneuvers such as loops & rolls and even fly upside down, whereas the helicopter is more stable and virtually impossible to crash in novice mode.
Compared to the numerous combat helicopter games on the app market, TeamThunder definitely stands out by supporting cooperative play. The weakest aspect of the game is the absence of a working reward system. Experience points can be earned for kills and completing missions to increase rank, but beyond that there are no rewards.
Flight controls and handling feel very organic (as far as I can tell without driving a helicopter in real life) and are modeled to the physics of a real helicopter. The controls of an RC helicopter transmitter can even be duplicated on TeamThunder. However, if you’re more accustomed to using a slider that controls altitude, then flying with an actual collective and cyclic (similar to the controls in a real helicopter) might be difficult at first, but one quickly becomes used to it after a little practice.
There are 10 missions and 2 helicopters to choose from at present, but KuduQ is currently working on more features and enhancements for free future release upgrades, such as an extensive overhaul and improvement of the reward system, more helicopters, helicopter skins, maps, missions, enemy types and weapons.