Wednesday is when the Google Play store refreshes, and all the Androids are faced by a blitzkrieg of new apps, all flying in at once and gunning for their attention. If you can withstand that sort of onslaught, then you’re prepared to face Aces of the Luftwaffe, a staff pick for the week from HandyGames. The title is slightly deceptive in that you do not play as the aces of the Luftwaffe; you are cast as a freshman pilot who’s eagerly signed up to defend mother England from Axis scum. So, you suit up, and you take off, and you are immediately plunged into the depths of bullet hell. Aces is a game which will occupy your entire touch-screen with projectiles: yours and theirs, bullets and planes.
In the vein of classic shoot-em-ups (or shmups, as the kids are calling ‘em) like 1942, Aces eschews the typical sci-fi trappings of the genre and loads up the sky with WW2-era baddies of all models and formations, all gunning for you and only you. It starts out easy enough — a formation here, a squadron there — but soon they’re shooting more and more, and so are you, as powerups load you with wider firing arcs, extra-gunning wingmen, and keeping you in the air with handy repairs.
You may get through the first few missions of Aces on your own, thanks to some fairly responsive touch controls that let you dodge bullets and planes nearly as fast as you can reposition your finger, but after that, if you’re not spending your in-game earnings on plane upgrades, bullet hell will certainly consume you. Survive, though, and I’ll give you a luftwaffle:
Aces of the Luftwaffe is free on Google Play right now.