Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
I’ve always been a fan of side-scrolling shoot-em-up action games. Defender is one of my all-time favorite arcade games. Then I started playing Chopper 2, and what a difference 3D makes to this type of game. For just $0.99 in the Mac App Store, (s aapl) and $2.99 in the iOS App Store for a universal version that supports iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, you can play this excellent, addictive game on all your Apple devices.
What sets this game apart is the way in which you control your chopper. It uses the gyroscope on your iOS device to go up and down, backwards and forwards. And on the Mac, you can use your iOS device as a controller for similar gyroscope controls. Not only that, but the game supports HD output via the Apple Digital AV Adapter directly to your HDTV, and AirPlay Mirroring from iPhone 4S and iPad 2 to your Apple TV. The graphics are truly stunning on all devices tested, including a Apple 27-inch LED Cinema Display and Samsung 55-inch LED HDTV. The soundtrack is also exceptional, and will sound great on your home theatre setup.
As far as the game itself goes, you’re basically on a mission to provide various kinds of air support for military operations. Some of the types of mission objectives include rescue, escorting and search and destroy. You can even master the art of takeoff and landing by stopping at various friendly checkpoints along the way to repair your chopper in the middle of the battle.
Getting used to the controls can be a bit tricky at first. If you like, you can opt to use touch-based controls on iOS, or keyboard controls on OS X instead of the gyroscope. Control and display options may seem overwhelming, but regardless of how you play, the game is fun. The changes in scenery across the game’s twelve different landscapes, as well as an increasing level of difficulty throughout its thirty-six different missions keeps the game fresh.