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Review: Air Dodger – A Physics-Based iOS Game That Packs a Galactic Punch

Review: Air Dodger – A Physics-Based iOS Game That Packs a Galactic Punch

If you followed any of my previous reviews, you are aware that I am not a huge fan of in-depth iOS games. Staring for hours into a small screen seems like a waste and something I am only willing to do for a console game. However, there are some games that can combine easy pick up and play functionality with a deeper dynamic for interested gamers. Air Dodger happens to be a game with both abilities, offering quick control learning and action for gamers with limited attention spans, like myself, and those users aching for in-depth gaming.


The objective of the game is to out maneuver the rockets, missiles, and rays from other interstellar ships while nabbing power ups, orbs, stars, and money, which comes in the form of triangular golden credits and emerald gems. That is the simple explanation for the up and go gamer.

Air Dodger ArcadeThe game, however, is much more in-depth when it comes to vehicular development, HP increases, added artifacts to increase ship levels and performance, all while collecting the necessary items during game play. In addition, the stars collected during missions combine into multiple constellations, unlocking chests of goodies and power ups. Finally, there is an option to not only protect your space station from enemy invasions by adding turrets and other defenses, but likewise, you can invade other users’ bases. This is controlled in the game lobby, both for offense and defense. Obviously, hooking up with friends via Facebook or Game Center will make the multiplayer option more personal.


Flying around in space is made possible by three control options. There is a virtual joystick option for both the left or right side of the screen. If you prefer, you can opt for the accelerometer version, which, thankfully, is calibrated for an upward direction. That is to say, playing Air Dodger with an accelerometer is not like trying to roll a ball across a flat surface. The accelerometer can be held up and down, with the iPad out in front of you, tilting will move the aircraft in a fairly intuitive manner.

Air Dodger Raid

Personal Experience

Logging a solid chunk of time when first opening the app, the complexity of the game lobby, or space station, became more apparent with time; however, the object of the game and the different playing modes are not immediately apparent. Thankfully, to help direct first time gamers, the tutorial mode is quite lengthy, providing hints, tips and directions through many of the initial levels. If you are looking for a full demo, check out this 20 minute preview.

Air Dodger Lobby

At the outset, single player mode is taught. Simply, dodge the missiles and cause the enemies, of which there are many variations, to hit themselves with their own weapons. At my level of current advancement, I cannot tell if you ever get to fire your own weapons, merely use the enemies firepower against them.

The game appears to be fairly complicated and often frustrating as you try to figure out how to maneuver the assorted game modes. I found it difficult to determine what section was multiplayer and which arcade mode. Most certainly the credit system for purchasing upgrades is confusing, but if you want to blow a quick wad of cash, start paying real dollars for gold triangles. In fact, there is a $5 mystery box, which you can purchase without ever knowing what your money will reveal. There are, however, no in app advertisements.

Conclusion [rating: 4/5]

Air Dodger is a free app for iPad and will please grab and go gamers along with more in-depth proponents. You can simply pick up your iPad and start scurrying away from missiles and attacking the baddies, or, spend more time trying to upgrade the ships, increase your military rank, or raid your buddy’s space station.

Overall, it is a confusing system that will take a long while to completely grasp, but again, some players are interested in investing the time. The game depth is vast when it comes to upgradability, but the actual gaming mode appears limited. A designated 2-dimensional playing field that does not scroll or expand. Eventually, I am guessing you will grow tired of avoiding missiles and listening to the inane soundtrack, but until then, enjoy upgrading your ship.


  • Appeals to both pick-up-and-play gamers and in-depth gamers, but certainly more appealing to the later
  • Vast upgrade systems
  • Character development, space ship enhancements
  • Excellent accelerometer controls


  • The game lobby is severely confusing
  • All of the upgrades can deter even minimalist gamers
  • List of objects, orbs, stars, constellations, money forms, artifacts, etc. is extremely long, almost requiring a game manual or a chart to keep everything straight
  • Users may get lost in the complexities of the options