SteamBirds: Survival

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4.5/5 (123 votes)

An expansion of the dogfighting turn-based strategy hit, SteamBirds: Survival, focuses itself on October 15th, 1940. You must do all you can to hold off the Axis forces over the city of London so that civilians can evacuate. There will never be a victory parade since your defeat is assured, but you will want to last as long as possible all the same. Choose your plane, and Godspeed.

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I enjoyed the original and after playing this it's definitely a disappointment. Probably my biggest gripe with the first was that the music couldn't be muted without muting everything, which is still the case with this one. It sucks having to play a game like this in silence.

That you can only control one plane now takes away a lot of the fun strategy elements that existed in the first. Then there's the lack of quests, only survival mode. I tried out a couple different planes but didn't really have much motivation to build up my copper to try the others.


Well done. I like the interface, graphics and the music. I found game play a little bit slow.


Seriously disappointed on this one. I loved the original, but this one took away all of the good bits of the last one.

First off, you only control one plane, which is kind of sucky, but you can get used to it. Also, the rest of the AI planes in your squad seem to have no powerups and rubbish health.

Secondly, you can only use so many powerups per level. This makes sense for bombs, and the like, but for flying tricks like 360's? Video game logic. Bleh.

Then there's the whole 'buy planes thing'. I was really excited about this, because I thought you could build up your own squad. However, you still only get to control one plane.

Also, there is zero point in buying more planes, because the game just gets harder, meaning you have different powerups, but the same challenge. This is obviously meant to be a way to mitigate buying awesome planes and then spamming the rest of the game, but if they made copper harder to get, it would have made the buying curve better.

I quit the game and replayed the original. So PLEASE developers: if you're making a sequel/expansion, don't change the core mechanics. It only puts people off.



Is it me or are the battles repetitive, every time you play with whatever the battle always begins the same: I am constantly playing as a Bombardino 'till I get my next plane and the battle starts that one plane gets ahead of me, shoots one plane and then gets shot, then a plane comes from the top-right and two from below. It happens again and again (even with all the planes I own), that it drained the interest of this games, imagined if that scoreboard gets filled with scores from a geek who spends his entire life in front of the computer (Graeme of Lazylaces, Greg of Kongregate, they are both married and they still live there life on the internets).


I like this a lot. At first I was disappointed that you can only control one plane, but when I played the original this seemed a lot deeper.

I've only played the first three planes, but I do find that they call for somewhat different strategies. For one thing, the different powerups are a big deal:

if you have lots of shields, you might find yourself using them to fly through an enemy's fire zone and get into a good position. With a missile, you can try to take an enemy out before you get within range or (what's often better) hope that it chases the missile and lets you get behind it. With superspeed, you're often going in big arches trying to get around enemies (or in the case of the spotters, to their sides).

And I think the Dart is faster than the others, which makes a big difference in strategy; heavier armor and weapons on some planes may make that difference too, as if you have better range than an enemy you may be able to take it out without taking any damage.

Though the dropped powerups are artificial, it lends another element of strategy -- you'll usually have to loop back for them, and there's always a question as to whether chasing a powerup will let the enemy outmaneuver you. When to use a powerup is another important decision; you don't want to save them until after you're dead. (That's something I'm not good at.)

My biggest complaint -- besides the sound thing, though I actually like being able to mute it completely -- is, why are the anti-aircraft guns firing at meeee? I like to think that, instead of defending London, I'm on a daring raid over the German airfields; that'd give a better explanation of how they got their AA in place. Plus it seems just that bit more awesome.

Devlin Bentley December 14, 2010 4:59 PM

The planes have a HUGE difference in strategy, especially the later ones. Don't just go and buy planes in order, skip around a bit. I am flying The Axe right now, 180 degree firing arc, but moves slow as heck. A decent strategy is to use shields until enemies overtake me, then let them have it.

Another plane has a tiny firing arc but an INSANE rate of fire.

Then there is the bomber, starts off with a ton of bombs, you have to plan where enemies are going to be a turn from now and ensure a bomb goes off appropriately.


I enjoyed the game very much, and it was a welcome change from the previous SteamBirds.

The biggest problem I had with the first SteamBirds was that while each mission was different, there were only a max of say, 6 planes in total on the screen. Winning was as easy as bunching up your units and attacking the enemies one by one.
In this game however, each game is different; enemies appear in different places and different combinations, and there's no one way to achieve success.

While I don't agree with the people who say there's no point in purchasing new planes, I will say the first six planes or so are pretty similar in overall strategy. Once you get to the Spider (40 poison gas uses) and the Looper (100 360's and 10/10 gun) however, the planes become pretty diverse.

The only complaints I have with gameplay are the extreme rarity of health bonuses in the field, and that the missile doesn't seem to carry much use, as it doesn't kill units in 1 hit as the Bombs do. Speaking of which, the bombs seem to have huge range and damage, being able to kill a Spotter from outside its range.

Somerandomguy February 5, 2011 6:19 PM

Personally, I like the neverslow. It can't slow down, but it is very fast, and has infinite superspeeds. This can be very covenient if you play like me; I superspeed into enemies and let my gun do the rest. If I get an enemy I either do a 360 and gun 'em down or superspeed away. This is not good for high armor bosses. Still, I can kill a spotter and only get hit once.


I started playing survival first and liked it and am addicted to it. I have unlocked all the free planes except the big one that needs 2000000 copper. I like axe the best, and never slow next, these two planes are awesome, and i used dart till i got to never slow and i think this game is awesome and addictive. My plan is to go to 2mil and get the big plane and stay on till round 20 and see what i might get.

good job guys....


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