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While Game Center on Mac has yet to really offer a bounty of great games, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is the first big title to take advantage of cross-play between Mac OS X and iOS devices. Surprisingly, the transition to a keyboard-centric control setup feels less comfortable than the touchscreen interface, but Air Supremacy is still a stellar aerial combat game with excellent online multiplayer.
The single-player campaign of Air Supremacy tasks you with blasting enemies out of the sky, land, and sea using homing missiles and machine gun fire. While the actual objectives and gameplay of each mission entertain, the story is a convoluted mess, told through comic book–style pages. Regardless, the plot isn’t that important; Air Supremacy is all about the combat.
Air Supremacy has more than jets. Old-school fighter planes add some variety.
Multiplayer is where Air Supremacy really shines. Like its iOS sibling, a multitude of match types are possible--including deathmatch, capture the flag, and survival--which are playable over local Wi-Fi, online, or Game Center match. While the online skirmishes work flawlessly, Game Center functionality appears to have some bugs as of this writing. During testing, I was unable to join any Game Center matches, which is a shame, as this is one of the few occasions where Mac and iOS gamers can compete head to head.
Locking on to multiple enemies and blasting them apart feels great.
Thankfully, a recent update (1.3.1) carries over all of your stats and unlocked jets from the iOS version of Air Supremacy. Jumping from the iPad to a Mac now feels seamless, and adds real value to the overall experience. If you’ve yet to play the iOS version, all of the jets are available right away via in-app purchase, but luckily, there’s no inherent need to plunk down cash--every plane is attainable through normal play, and you’ll see many of them appear in your roster as you take down missions and online foes alike.
The bottom line. Thanks to iCloud sync and great multiplayer (despite Game Center issues), Air Supremacy is a worthwhile addition to the Mac App Store.
OS X 10.7 or later
Great visuals. Lots of content for very low price. Fast-paced online multiplayer.
Game Center connectivity issues. Weak story.