Developer: Michael Nielsen
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
The iPhone's accelerometer is perfectly suited for games where you hold it horizontally and "steer" it back and forth to control a vehicle. It has worked well in Crash Bandicoot and other popular games.
Unfortunately, not so in Fighter Pilot - Dogfight Battle - Jet Aircraft, (yes, that is what they list it as in the App Store. We'll call it Fighter Pilot for short) a new game from the unfortunately-named dumbgames.net. Instead of feeling like you are inside the cockpit during a high-intensity dogfight, you attempt to control a plane that floats around the screen much like the rocket ship in Asteroid. Except the pilot must be drunk, because trying to control the plane is impossible.
At least Fighter Pilot - Dogfight Battle - Jet Aircraft gives you a number of choices in which fighter you want to be. Among your options are an F/A-18 Hornet, a World War II-era P-51 Mustang, or an alien fighter. Each of the planes have various strengths and weaknesses as measured by speed, weight, thrust, and turning abilities. Once you have chosen your fighter then it is time to pick your opponent.
Your battle awaits. On the right side of the screen you will find three large buttons for firing either guns, missiles, or some hybrid device that drops like a bomb but flies somehow like a rocket. While the placement of the buttons on the side of the screen (when held horizontally) give your thumb easy access it would have been more comfortable to have a button on either side for more rapid firing. And the enormous buttons take up way too much screen real estate.
The gameplay is where Fighter Pilot really falls. The goal is of course to shoot down your opponent, but you most do so in a disjointed style of steering your iPhone back and forth. Instead of a plane, it is more like controlling a balloon in the way the plane slowly responds to your commands. A green string of boxes haphazardly appears in an effort to lock onto your target. But your opponent generally makes just as many swerves through the screen, so its not exactly easy to make a direct hit.
If you are looking to earn your wings with your iPhone, there are far better options than Fighter Pilot - Dogfight Battle - Jet Aircraft. That dollar in your checking account can be much better spent elsewhere.