Why does fun never come without a lot of flaws?
The controls for the aircraft are really intuitive and I managed to control this game without any trouble the first time I played it (note that this is one of the first Android games I have ever played). Tilting the smartphone like I am holding a joystick was really easy and my aircraft reacted to my movement immediately, without Delay or a chucking framerate. I personally think the game would have been more realistic if you felt how heavy you're vehicle is, but I can put realism aside for this.
The dog-fights can get really interesting and chaotic once the enemies start applying tactics or ignoring you in favor of trying to overrun whatever you are trying to defend, It's really cool when the bullets fly past your head, you and the enemy are trying to get behind each other and you see their engine catching fire after a tough battle. Things get even more chaotic when there are ground units (bunkers and anti-air stuff) firing at you from below because that just adds a lot more to all the action.
The locations you will be fighting in look pretty good for Android standards, they are nice and colorful and they look exactly what I imagine the Pacific looks like. I am really fond of the color because it does everything it can to avoid having brown on the screen, indicating that it's trying to bring shame upon his family (read: genre). Most war games I have played go crazy if there isn't any brown on the screen at all times, so this is quite a welcome change.
The game let's you select missions out of order without having to unlock something or finish an earlier mission first, I love it because I just didn't feel like following a story while playing this game. I also didn't feel like playing all the missions, so I just played six at the start and then the last three ones before writing this review, I will go back and play the other three of course, but I doubt they will contain anything that will change my opinion on the game. Android games are finally learning that they suck at telling stories and should probably stick to arcade games for now, that's great although I can't wait until they start to grow into respectable triple A titles.
Once the enemies start firing at you they barely ever miss, they are almost a hundred percent accurate and will continue firing until you pass them, this is very annoying because by the time you have passed them your engine is already burning or at least smoking, so you won't ever survive two of these moves. your only hope against the enemies is that they stop firing for some reason or that they are taken down by an ally. Another problem is that they always throw their bombs perfectly, so if you have to defend something you always have to look at it or it will die within a minute or two.
The enemy AI isn't all that great unless there is absolute chaos, they mostly just fly around without trying to flank you, waiting patiently for you to empty you're bullets into them.It could use some serious polish because it's as low as it can go and I doubt their actions during chaotic moments were intentionally programmed that way. It also doesn't really help the difficulty since it's always either a walk through the park or a hell depending on what mood the AI finds itself in.
There is nothing to indicate if you are hitting a target or not and that can be a big problem when you have to bomb targets. Bombing is already quite a trick to pull off properly, so it doesn't really help that I can never be sure if my bombs are doing damage or not. Using your machine gun is a little bit better because you can aim a little and rely on that, but it is still not really up to par with shooter games like Call of Duty where you get points if you kill something and visual feedback if you are hitting something.
The Bottom Line
Winds of Steel is a lot of fun to play and it's easy to play, but it doesn't really have it's technical side down. The AI and the lack of feedback are both really problematic, but you don't really notice it as long as you play this game when you are bored or sitting in the train as opposed to sessions of four hours without a break. The fact that the only thing left to do after completing each mission is trying to break your high-scores pretty much confirms that this is an arcade game and shouldn't be played like it's Bioware RPG.
The game doesn't contain any blood and it's not really violent or brutal, so it can be played by both kids and adults without any problems.