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Top Gun 2 for iPhone

Top Gun 2 for iPhone

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Action Games

Top Gun 2, provided by Paramount Digital Entertainment, is an action-packed game based on the 1986 movie, Top Gun. Despite a 24 year gap between the movie release and this game's release, Top Gun 2 brings the thrill of the action blockbuster to the iPhone. To sweeten the pot, the on-rails shooter is only $2.99!

In Top Gun 2 you control a fighter jet. Because it's a rails shooter, you're constantly moving forward. Tilting the iPhone moves the plane and controls where you aim. This worked very well, and if I shifted my play position too much, pausing the game brings up a button that allows for the sensors to be calibrated in under a second. Four buttons are displayed that fire machine guns, launch missiles, use a special attack, and activate a special defense. There are three planes available for use – the F-14 Tomcat, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F-18 Hornet. Each has a unique attack and defense capability, allowing you to use whichever works best for you. My favorite is the F-16 because of its shield ability.

After a quick introduction displaying the logos of those responsible for the game, a map is displayed. This allows you to select a level to play (with one available initially) or to enter the shop. At the end of each level, you gain money proportional to how well you performed. This money can be spent in the shop upgrading your planes. When you select a level, you're presented with a small description of why you're being sent there. This is nice because it gives some reason for the level's existence without distracting too long from the action. Top Gun 2 doesn't have a tutorial at all. At first I was a little confused because I expected one, but after I realized that one wasn't coming, there wasn't a problem. It's easy to figure out the controls, and the goal is obvious – shoot the enemies without dying. The difficulty was very fair; It wasn't so easy that I didn't have to worry or try, but it wasn't so hard that I got angry. The enemies come out in various patterns, and you have to avoid their gunfire while shooting them down, continuing toward the end of the level and a boss. I always like boss designs in shoot 'em ups, and Top Gun 2 doesn't disappoint. The bosses have great models and are varied in design.

The presentation is superb. The initial screens displaying logos are very classy. The graphics all through the game are great, and the music definitely got my blood flowing. Top Gun 2 features music by Dare Devil Squadron. When the track playing changes in game, the name and artist is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Touching it tells you more about the Dare Devil Squadron and gives you the option to purchase the album. They're described as “Metal. Hard rock. Progressive.” That seems spot on and is very fitting music for a game based on Top Gun! At one point I did have a problem with the audio. After loading the game, I found that there was no audio whatsoever. I tried closing and re-opening the game, but that didn't fix it. Plugging in headphones and then unplugging them made the music come back, but the sound effects were still gone despite the audio controls in the options being fine. I turned the phone off and back on again, and then the sound was completely back to normal. I have no idea what caused this, but it was a one time problem that I could not reproduce.

Top Gun 2 features Plus+, a social networking service. Plus+ offers the features you'd come to expect from a gaming network – friends list, awards based on accomplishments, leaderboards, and high scores that can be broadcast over Twitter and Facebook. Awards that are unlocked yield +Points that are combined to yield your overall +Score. Plus+ is integrated very nicely into the game.

Top Gun 2 is a very cool rails shooter. It's full of perfect arcade action. You can close the game at any time and pick up again right where you were, which is always a huge, huge plus for iPhone games. The money system is interesting and let's you customize the jets as you see fit. Top Gun 2 features outstanding graphics, great music, and a lot of fun. It's really a great game and costs only $2.99. If for some reason you haven't seen Top Gun (although you should), don't feel left out. The game, while inspired by the movie and definitely drawing from it in feel, can be fully enjoyed without any knowledge of the movie. And like I said, Top Gun 2 is only $2.99. That's a great price for a huge amount of action and fun!


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