The arcade shooter has come a long way since the days of R-Type, when pretty much every example of the genre consisted of the same joystick-yanking, button-hammering gameplay.
Amazing Copter, from indie developer Gammes, may look a lot like those arcade shooters of yore, with the same nostalgic pixel-art graphics and chiptune music, but it also showcases decades of game design refinement.
Fans of arcade games on mobile will spot a couple of different influences, including the thumb-friendly touch-to-fly control interface of Flappy Bird and the skin-unlocking mechanic of Crossy Road.
If you’ve never played Flappy Bird, or the even older Whale Trail, here’s how that thumb-friendly control interface works.
As long as you’re holding a digit down on the screen, your little helicopter climbs through the air. When you let go, it starts to fall.
That’s pretty much all you need to know—except that various projectiles are hurtling towards you, and dodging them is harder than you might think thanks to the game’s fiendishly floaty physics.
Your main aim in Amazing Copter, apart from survival, is to collect coins to spend on a range of different helicopter skins. If you’re a fan of collect-em-ups, you’ll be hooked.
Plus, there’s a leaderboard to climb and your own previous high scores to beat, with power-ups and continues helping you to get further and further through the game’s three diverse biomes.
Every time you die, you get the option to continue by either spending coins or watching a free ad. In fact, Amazing Copter is completely free to play, though you can choose to buy coins or gems—and you can support Gammes directly on Ko-fi.
Gammes has an official website, which you can visit to read more about Amazing Copter and the studio’s other titles. There’s an official Discord server, too, where you can get updates and compare notes with other fans.
Or you can just head straight to the Google Play Store and download Amazing Copter for free right now.