Altitude

White-knuckled, close range dogfighting is not a common theme for video games. Most flight sims from the ancient times of computing would try to simulate flight more than combat, and those that did simulate combat strove for realism - which left little room for intense dogfighting action. Very few have ever even tried, Crimson Skies being the most notable and recent example. Fortunately this is why we have independent game developers.

Altitude is a 2D dogfighting game that takes the action and intense maneuvering of dogfighting and stuffs it into a screen with tons of other planes. Primarily a multiplayer game, you can still play single player by filling in the other spots with bots. There are 7 gameplay modes such as Deathmatch and Team Base Destruction which add plenty of variety to the basic gameplay. There's also 5 different planes, each with different weapons and handling characteristics, and numerous perks and skins to customize them with.

Which all serves as window dressing around the basic gameplay, which is straight-up dogfighting. You fly your plane around the level looking for other planes to shoot down. You have a primary weapon, a secondary weapon and a special ability that you can pick up at several spots throughout the map. You also have an afterburner which comes in handy when your plane stalls out. Stalling and the afterburner make for a highly manuverable dogfight, as you can literally drop straight down then kick on the afterburners to fly right behind your opponent.

The art and levels are all fairly colorful and reminiscent of Worms and similar 2D shooting games, very serviceable. There's also a fairly extensive map editor and community maintained documentation. As an added bonus for parents there is an entire page setup for starting a “Child Safe Account”. While there seems to be a “community point” system to unlock skins for the planes, there doesn't seem to be a way to directly buy the points, so it's not a microtransaction system. Various planes and perks are unlocked as you play the game, similar to Call of Duty 4.

Why You Should Check This Out: Altitude is a 2D dogfighting game with tons of customization and play modes wrapped around an addicting action game. It's online multiplayer component provides endless play while still allowing controls to make the online experience kid-friendly. Multiplayer that's just pure action combined with tight controls makes for an addicting combination.

[size=20]Download Demo Now[/size]


[size=18](Steam)[/size]

Comments

which left little room for intense dogfighting action. Very few have ever even tried, Crimson Skies being the most notable and recent example.

I Personally think of Star Fox 64 for multiplayer close quarters dogfights.

I tried Alttitude during the recent Steam free weekend and was dissapointed that it was entirely multiplayer outside of the tutorial / playing with bots. It was somewhat fun and executed what it did really well. I passed, especially when there was no way to join someone in game on my in game friends list.

I agree about the limitations of the mp and Steam, but I rather enjoyed the demo a ways back and I bit on the sale. It's great to play for a little bit here and there. Fun little game.

Wow, finally you cover a game that I've actually played.

Altitude is lots of fun, especially for those of us who pine for the olden days. I like to grab my walker, sit down with a prune-juice and enjoy some 2D dogfighting every once in a while. This is great for those of us with limited time and/or notso-hotso gaming rigs.

Great write-up.

docbadwrench wrote:
Wow, finally you cover a game that I've actually played.

Altitude is lots of fun, especially for those of us who pine for the olden days. I like to grab my walker, sit down with a prune-juice and enjoy some 2D dogfighting every once in a while. This is great for those of us with limited time and/or notso-hotso gaming rigs.

Great write-up.

I definitely agree with you. This plays great on my newish lower-end laptop. Don't spill your prune juice on your keyboard though.

One other thing; I saw Altitude and it reminded me of another cool game on the iPhone, MiniSquadron. I really recommend that one for any mobile gaming fans.

This looks awesome. Reminds me of a game I used to play as a kid called Sopwith, 2D dogfighting was awesome.

This game is really quite fun, it's Subspace turned on its side with gravity. I love just hopping in for a while and can do it on pretty much any machine so that's a plus!

anyone else get a big fat fail on the demo install? It freezes near the end of the install every time, and it seems not to get far enough to install the uninstaller, so I can't get rid of it.

edit: all good now.

This game works really well with a controller. My logitech pad makes it so much more fun to play. Great game though; got it as part of the Steam Indie sale a while back.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
anyone else get a big fat fail on the demo install? It freezes near the end of the install every time, and it seems not to get far enough to install the uninstaller, so I can't get rid of it.

edit: all good now.

Google told the installer you were in China. Then the capitalist mentality kicked in with the install and it realized the devs would rather have your money than make a stand against censorship. A very intelligent installer there.

Most flight sims from the ancient times of computing would try to simulate flight more than combat, and those that did simulate combat strove for realism - which left little room for intense dogfighting action.

Er... what?? Can someone from the IL2 lawn dart club please attest to Pyro against this erroneous statement?

This game has a fundamental design issue that drove me away from it; you have to grind levels. Seriously. You don't get access to everything, and you can be torn to shreds by enemies that are higher-level than you are, and have access to weapons you aren't allowed to use.

It's a good game, and if that tactic was used as a training method, it would be okay, but it looks to take hundreds of hours of play before you're allowed to use the best stuff. And I find that just about the worst possible sin in a multiplayer shooter.

Malor wrote:
This game has a fundamental design issue that drove me away from it; you have to grind levels. Seriously. You don't get access to everything, and you can be torn to shreds by enemies that are higher-level than you are, and have access to weapons you aren't allowed to use.

Within an hour of gameplay you can easily have the first 4 planes unlocked, and I have defeated enemies WAY above my level with the starting plane. It's not as big of an advantage to be a high level as you might think.

This game reminds me a little bit of the Worms series.

I don't know how long you've played it, Valmorian, but I was up to about level 35, I think. The early levels zoom by very fast, but they slow down a great deal, and then you start getting matched against people who are much higher level, and the weapon combos there get very lethal.

I had more or less the same experience you did early on, and I thought it was just a training thing to introduce one weapon at a time, but no.... past a certain point, it's just grinding, and you're not allowed to compete on a level playing field until you've slogged through the trenches. Not fun.

This game is a lot of fun. Thank you for alerting us to its existence.

It's a like a latter day MMO version of the old Amiga freeware game Biplanes (Bip).

Malor wrote:
I don't know how long you've played it, Valmorian, but I was up to about level 35, I think. The early levels zoom by very fast, but they slow down a great deal, and then you start getting matched against people who are much higher level, and the weapon combos there get very lethal.

I had more or less the same experience you did early on, and I thought it was just a training thing to introduce one weapon at a time, but no.... past a certain point, it's just grinding, and you're not allowed to compete on a level playing field until you've slogged through the trenches. Not fun.

I'm about level 30ish, and still taking out people level 50+ with the starter plane. There are some neat combos later on for sure, but nothing game-breakingly bad. A good player with the starter plane is just as deadly.

DanB wrote:
It's a like a latter day MMO version of the old Amiga freeware game Biplanes (Bip).

Biplanes! Exactly what came to mind for me. I loved that game so very much.

Valmorian wrote:
Malor wrote:
I don't know how long you've played it, Valmorian, but I was up to about level 35, I think. The early levels zoom by very fast, but they slow down a great deal, and then you start getting matched against people who are much higher level, and the weapon combos there get very lethal.

I had more or less the same experience you did early on, and I thought it was just a training thing to introduce one weapon at a time, but no.... past a certain point, it's just grinding, and you're not allowed to compete on a level playing field until you've slogged through the trenches. Not fun.

I'm about level 30ish, and still taking out people level 50+ with the starter plane. There are some neat combos later on for sure, but nothing game-breakingly bad. A good player with the starter plane is just as deadly.

Hear that, Malor? You just suck.

I found it to be a great little "snack" game. Having said that, I played the damn thing for 7 hours (and bought it) during the Steam free weekend. A 360 controller works great with it. Each plane plays pretty differently and the "energy management" mechanic means you're always making critical decisions: shoot lots more or get more speed.

docbadwrench wrote:
Wow, finally you cover a game that I've actually played.

Altitude is lots of fun, especially for those of us who pine for the olden days. I like to grab my walker, sit down with a prune-juice and enjoy some 2D dogfighting every once in a while. This is great for those of us with limited time and/or notso-hotso gaming rigs.

Great write-up.

Believe it or not, there's a William Gibson short story about this. (Sorta.) Dogfight, by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson. I remember really liking it back in the '90s. I'm sure it shows its age, though -- probably did even then.

EDIT: ps the story is horrible and depressing FYI

philosofrenzy wrote:
DanB wrote:
It's a like a latter day MMO version of the old Amiga freeware game Biplanes (Bip).

Biplanes! Exactly what came to mind for me. I loved that game so very much.


There is an 8 player networked remake available here, apparently there was a bipII on the Amiga but I sure as hell never saw that.
http://www.allegro.cc/depot/bip/

anyone know where you can find the original 8-player/1-screen air combat game, Dogfight? I loved playing that on the Apple IIGS, cramming everyone onto a single keyboard to play.

Hear that, Malor? You just suck

Heh, well, wouldn't be the first time.

I have a real visceral loathing for being killed by a technique I'm not allowed to use.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
anyone know where you can find the original 8-player/1-screen air combat game, Dogfight? I loved playing that on the Apple IIGS, cramming everyone onto a single keyboard to play.

This might do.

Malor wrote:
Hear that, Malor? You just suck

Heh, well, wouldn't be the first time.

I have a real visceral loathing for being killed by a technique I'm not allowed to use.

No, no, no, you're just not playing the game right. Duh.