Price: $0.99  Score: 6/10  Category: Games

A.I.R. Defense, developed by Colourbox and published by Chillingo, is a strategy game that combines the tower defense objective with line-drawing gameplay. There is some sort of story about alien invaders but, let’s be honest, nobody really cares about that.

In A.I.R. Defense, you purchase various fighter planes and upgrade them to ward off wave after wave of enemies in order to protect your home base. Your fighters are controlled by drawing course along the screen. They will automatically attack any enemy in range so long as they have ammunition. Different planes have different abilities, such as dropping mines or scanning for hidden enemies. Your base also has defenses that you can activate after destroying a certain number of enemies.

You purchase your planes and upgrades with money that you earn from destroying enemies. Your allies will sometimes send in a support plane that will drop money for you. For some reason, these planes decide the best possible location to drop the money is right in the middle of the battlefield, so your planes have to go and pick it up. I’ve never taken classes on business or war strategy, but I’m pretty sure that tossing money out of airplane windows would flunk me out of both. Apparently Paypal either does not exist in the world of A.I.R. Defense, or it has fallen to the enemy.

A.I.R. Defense can be pretty challenging. Even from the earliest levels, the game likes to throw as many enemies at you as possible. The screen will often fill up with so many vehicles and bullets and text warnings that it can be difficult to keep track of everything that is going on.

The game looks and sounds decent. The neon art style is snazzy and the sound effects sufficiently convey an explosion, which is good because there are a lot of those in A.I.R. Defense. There is some music but there was always so much happening on the screen that I forgot to pay attention to it. So at the very least, it isn’t awful enough to distract you from the gameplay.

While the game is never boring, the difficulty can make it consistently frustrating. If you enjoy strategy games and are looking for something new and challenging, A.I.R. Defense might be worth the dollar they are charging for it on the App Store.