While we were busy covering Apple's WWDC in San Francisco, SGN released their air combat title F.A.S.T. -- Fleet Air Superiority Training [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch. We've finally had a chance to spend some time with this rather impressive title.

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A flying shooter very much in the spirit of the popular Playstation franchise Ace Combat, F.A.S.T delivers iPhone aerial combat action in spades.  The game dispenses with any real storyline, takeoffs, and landings, putting the player in the thick of the action from the start of each mission.  There are 30 missions of increasing difficulty in all and a nice variety of aircraft to choose from (three available initially, with a total of 10 unlockable through mission progress), such as the F-4, F-15, F-16, Eurofighter 2000, F-22, and even a "secret" plane only accessible through successful victory in the "Insane" difficulty missions.

FAST carrierF.A.S.T. throws the player into the thick of an aerial combat scenario involving multiple closing enemy targets over a variety of ground environments.  The combat arsenal includes radar guided and heat seeking missiles for long-range attack, 20mm miniguns for close-range dog fighting, and flares for dodging in-bound enemy missiles.  The game features accelerometer aircraft control that is pretty much perfectly implemented -- it's just exactly right, surprisingly so.  And while it does not provide an X-Plane-style true-flight simulation experience (nor does it strive to), it's more involved flying than more casual air comabt games, such as Top Gun.

FAST winner loserAside from player vs. AI, the game offers both (online) WiFi- and (local) Bluetooth-based multiplayer in head-to-head and 2-on-2 arrangements.  In my experience battling online combatants over WiFi, I've seen gameplay that is smooth and responsive, with no dropouts.  And, I have to say, waxing the tail of online players is a pretty satisfying experience (I hear it's possible to get waxed yourself, but I've never experienced it...).

We first caught wind of this title early last month, when SGN had a somewhat different release plan in mind.  But as SGN's Dan Brazelton points out in our forums, this initial release provides the aforementioned 30 missions, head-to-head, and 2-on-2 play.  But when "the war breaks out," a free update will allow players to use their skills in "the war."  It seems much larger scale multiplayer action is in store this summer.  But even if the war were not headed our way, F.A.S.T. is meaty enough to stand, as is, on its own as a solid aerial fighter. Perhaps the most convincing endorsement comes from Sci Fly 2 developer Josh Rosen:

I'm the developer of SciFly, so I guess I'm a "competitor." But, even I'll say this game is great :) It's definitely the first practical (aka fun) mutliplayer iPhone game to actually hit the store, congrats developers!

Ace Combat fans, this game is for you.  And anyone else who enjoys a little modern day dogfighting action will likely find F.A.S.T. -- Fleet Air Superiority Training worth the price of admission.  The game is currently available for a limited time price of $4.99 (standard price is $9.99).

See the developer's game trailer for a closer look.

App Store Link: F.A.S.T. -- Fleet Air Superiority Training, $4.99 (limited time)

SGN and a dozen other companies are presently sponsors of this site, but that does not affect our choice of coverage or influence our reviews.

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Was kind of on the fence about this earlier, might have to give it a shot now.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    It plays / feels better than the photos and vid indicate, somehow. It really got folks attention on my subway ride home from work on Friday.

  • Kia

    "The game dispenses with any real storyline"

    Pass.

    • LBG

      *Facepalm*
      Do you really need a storyline for a fighter jet combat sim? If there was a storyline, I am pretty certain it would be a load of BS and not worth the effort. A storyline is neccassary an RPG, but not in a game like this. Each to their own, I suppose.

  • MilesO'Toole

    I thought it looked pretty ordinary at first, but after watching that video I'm pretty impressed.

  • Big Albie

    The graphics are good, and the game is not bad. You'll want to get this if you're into online multiplayer. Otherwise, the 30 missions may not keep you satisfied for long.

  • http://www.visionaryart.biz nanokiwi

    I got this after reading the review comments using moofs scraper. Talk about rave reviews! And yes, I haven't played it much yet but it does play really well, its something of a breakthrough for 3D accelerometer control. There are some neat features - you can follow the path of a missile you fire by holding down the fire button. Fantastic sense of speed.

  • http://scifly2.com Josh Rosen

    haha didn't realize my comment was going to make it on the front page :-) I've been having a lot of fun with it since them, also. For a while I was #70 top pilot, but now I'm #91 :-(

    My only concern about the game since my comment is balancing. If I beet some single player missions, I can get a super powerful jet. I can then jump into multiplayer where most people are just starting and then wipe them out before they even get within range of me.

    • Frumius

      Josh,

      Now that's what you call ironic!

      I wanted to say I salute you for the sportsmanship you show in giving praise to a competing endeavor. My son owns both yours and now this game!

      • http://scifly2.com Josh Rosen

        Thanks for you kind comments, and tell your son I said thank you for his interest in my games :)

  • wegmans

    This game is fantastic, I like how it automatically calibrates, i was playing upside down in my bed and was able to play!

    Definitely snag it for $4.99, fantastic graphics and fast-paced gameplay make this certainly worth it!

  • http://iphone-game-reviews.com Vikram

    You know, this game surpasses flight combat games in a lot of ways! The realistic locking system, the beautiful graphics, and fast-paced gameplay are simply great. I can't find any more words but until you play this game, you're really missing something. It's one of those 'must-get' games!

    BTW, you have a great spirit, Josh Rosen!

  • NotYou

    Call me old fashioned, but I like to leave my tail unwaxed.

  • http://www.sgn.com Shawn Lopiccolo

    Glad you all like the game, more to come soon!

    -Shawn
    Producer, SGN

  • John

    This game is one of the few on the app store that is actually worth it's price plus much more. The game is polished, has fantastic graphics, a true sense of speed and very well thought out use of the iPhones accelerometer! The multiplayer support is outstanding and you will be playing against a real person within 10 seconds most times of the day. After my recent disappointment with a couple of high-profile releases, this game has given me hours of sheer gaming bliss!

    Download this game and don't look back.. unless you've got a bogey on your tail :)

  • Julius

    Try the game H.A.W.X. It is way better (especially in graphics) and it is pretty much the same.

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