We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,577 Reviews

Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol review: strategic dogfighting app for iOS

Free

Manufacturer: 2K Games

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Sid Meier's Ace Patrol is a clever and fun strategy game for iOS. Read our Sid Meier's Ace Patrol iOS app review to find out more.

From the makers of one of the most addictive, time consuming strategy games of all time comes Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol, an exceptional World War I-themed strategy game. If you downloaded the title with visions of white knuckle turns, machine gun fire lighting up the sky, and frantic maneuvering as you engage in dogfights over enemy lines, think again—this is a Sid Meier title, after all, and that means an exceptionally deep, but slowly paced, turn-based strategy game. While mobile games have adapted the frenetic pace of their console cousins, Sid Meier continues to cut his own path—preferring nuance, balance, and game mechanics that require more thought than reflexes. See all app reviews.

The game is free to play, though after a handful of missions you’ll be asked to shell out for the complete British campaign (£0.69) or one of the various campaign packs, such as the French, German, and American campaigns. Each campaign has nearly 20 missions, and though they play similarly, there are nice touches like accents, pilot portraits, and authentic aircraft of the flag you’re flying. Take a look at Candy Crush Saga review.

The core combat is again, turn based, so you’ll see all of the available locations your plane can go and if they can attack the enemy plane. Animations will be initiated if you’re firing on an enemy plane or zeppelin, for example, though you’re not directly controlling the aircraft. It’s essentially chess with planes, with each plane and pilot offering different abilities and advantages.

Each mission you embark on will allow you an opportunity to upgrade your craft, improve your pilots' skills, and see them rise up the ranks. In a subtle but charming touch, your pilot’s portrait will change from a smiling, clean shaved rookie to a well-decorated, medal wearing veteran. The missions will see you defend targets, engage in combat with enemy fighters, and target enemy structures and zeppelins. Unfortunately, the mission variety leaves something to be desired: While there are several different types, they all follow a similar formula and are usually small scale engagements. The sky never feels clouded by flak fire and the streams of dozens of dogfighting planes.

You'll become invested in your pilot's success, but keeping them alive won't be easy. The game does a good job of holding your hand during the first few missions, but as you progress, you'll start encountering more challenging enemies that want nothing more than to blow your plans out of the sky. If you lose a pilot behind enemy lines, you have to wait to Christmas for a prisoner exchange (which coincidentally always fell at the end of a campaign for me). The issue is that the last mission in every campaign requires you to use all of your pilots, and so if you have only one pilot, you might as well opt to skip the mission, be awarded no points, and get all of your pilots back.

You unfortunately can’t replay specific missions, even failed ones, which can be exceptionally frustrating if one of your pilots gets downed and isn’t available for several missions.

Sid Meier's Ace Patrol Expert Verdict »
Size: 125 MB
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Strategy games are commonplace on the mobile platform, but the number of games in the strategy genre is sadly lacking. Ace Patrol is not just a valentine to a bygone era in aviation, but a bygone era in gaming. That doesn't mean Ace Patrol is just another retro indulgence, however: It's one of the most clever, unique, and fun strategy games on iOS right now. So put on your flak jacket, throw back your scarf, and make the Red Baron pay.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire strategy game review

    Sins of a Solar Empire strategy game

    Sins of a Solar Empire goes where no other real-time strategy game has gone before.

  • Pirates and Traders for Android review

    Pirates and Traders for Android

    Pirates and Traders is an open-ended game for Google Android smartphones in which you sail around the Caribbean seas in search of wealth and glory.

  • Dogfighter review

    Dogfighter

    Dogfighter is multiplayer-minded aerial combat title from indie developer Dark Water Studios that resurrects a largely forgotten sub-genre with supreme skill.

  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy review

    Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy

    Despite a couple of noticeable absences, Legacy is a well-constructed, old-school entry in the Ace Combat series.

  • Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy for iOS review

    Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy for iOS

    Sky Gamblers for iOS features Top Gun-style sky heroics, in a combat flight sim that’s snapping at console gaming’s heels.


IDG UK Sites

Sony PlayStation 5 release date, price and specs UK: When is the PS5 coming out?

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV release date rumours, features: 'new Apple TV next week' rumour

IDG UK Sites

Mobile email is powerful and useful - but also hopelessly intrusive

IDG UK Sites

How the Oculus Rift VR headset is helping train the surgeons of tomorrow