Over a Million Downloads
One million downloads in the Google Play store doesn't guarantee that you've got a good game on your hands, but it most certainly shows promise – this promise is delivered on wholeheartedly by aerial shooter game Turret Commander: Aerial FPS. Flight simulation is quite an overrepresented genre, and standard ground/aerial combat isn't exactly a new subject for developers to tackle either, but the turret gunner genre is one that's a little less widely represented. Turret Commander is one of the few games that focuses all of its action around having you assume a turret gunner's role in the first-person perspective.
Gameplay and Content
Turret Commander's gameplay is easily compared to that of games such as Drone Shadow Strike in that both centre on aerial combat where you assume control of the aiming and firing capabilities of an aircraft. However, Turret Commander deviates from its comparator (and most other aerial combat games for that matter) in a number of ways, but mainly its fairly simple presentation, rudimentary content, and graphics that pale in comparison to the stylishly designed Drone Shadow Strike.
The gameplay is extremely simple, with its developer (Kylinworks, for anyone that may be interested) opting for a traditional first-person shooter format where you are placed in the turret of a single aircraft- which, as far as one can tell from playing the game for some length of time, is the only aircraft you get to be the gunner for throughout the entire experience – and tasked with the shooting down of enemies. You have a radar in the top-left corner that tells you the position of your enemies. An on-screen section in the bottom left allows you to move the crosshair so that you can aim, and another section in the bottom-right corner must be tapped in order for you to fire. There's also a missile button on the screen for when you need to use them against more serious foes.
As far as having meat on its metaphorical bones, Turret Commander does have a reasonable amount of content. This content rears its head in the form of new guns to purchase as well as upgrades to certain aspects of your weapons such as rate of fire, cool-down time, and ability to reload your rockets. All content can be purchased with steadily increasing quantities of currency, which can be earnt through grinding during gameplay or (of course) with in-app purchases. Don't expect any substance of the likes you will find in serious aerial combat games however – titles like Chaos Combat Helicopter 3D still put Turret Commander to shame in terms of what they offer players in the long run.
Graphics and Sound
Visually, Turret Commander: Aerial FPS isn't the most stunning of aerial experiences available out there. Sure, this game admittedly has some reasonably impressive 3D graphics which to an extent manage to convey some tension and excitement, though most of this comes fromthe very fact that you're controlling some serious hardware meant for use in high-octane battles rather than from superior aircraft modelling or graphics-based considerations.
This game is really a few leagues down from the level of slickness and general stylish capacity of the aforementioned Drone Shadow Strike, however. Drone Shadow Strike's overall design and sound effects feel like they are modelled entirely around a stealthy, covert, and slick military operation, whereas those in Turret Commander feel very generic in nature, like they could really apply to any World War II-era war game. There's nothing to distinguish this game's design, presentation, or sound effects from its competitors, unfortunately, and its menu design is far from efficient – you have to scroll rather far down the page if you want to upgrade most of the hardware, for example.
If one was to be honest when evaluating this game's general place on the totem pole of aerial combat games, it wouldn't feature very highly when going up against its competitors. There are plenty of games out there that offer superior FPS-style gameplay, and ones whose graphics, presentation, and content are all superior to Turret Commander. This game isn't all bad however, since it's still got 3D graphics that after all simulate quite commendably the role of a turret gunner during aerial combat.
The game's weapons upgrades are probably the one thing that will keep players coming back for more, though you'll reach a bottleneck very quickly if you're not handing over your own cash for in-game currency; grinding is one of the main annoyances of the game, but doing so for cash to buy upgrades is the only way around the in-app purchases. I would strongly recommend you check out Drone Shadow Strike if you want a game that's more professional in its design and heavier on content. If drone-based games aren't your thing however, or if you're a bit bored of straight-up flight simulation, then Turret Commander Aerial FPS may provide the welcome change you're looking for.