Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Alan German
As the tail
gunner in a heavy bomber, you have a clear view to the
rear of the aircraft and of the enemy fighters
that are closing rapidly. Its time to swing those
twin .50 cal machine guns into action! This is the
scenario for Tail Gun Charlie, a World War II
shoot-em-up game for an Android smartphone or
Enemy planes arrive in waves. Your
job is to prevent any of the fighters from getting past
your aircraft. The good news is that you have unlimited
ammunition. The bad news is that if you keep your finger
on the trigger, the guns will overheat and you will be
unable to fire for a few seconds until they cool down.
Im not normally a fan of computer arcade games.
They usually seem to be designed for young folks, with
lightning-quick reactions, and infinite patience to
master the fast-paced games. Tail Gun Charlie is a bit of
an exception. It provides different levels of action
normal, hard and insane (!) In fact, these
just let you join the action at different stages. The
initial attack waves are slower with fewer enemy
fighters. The later waves are well totally
You start off in training mode. Initially,
the software provides a double gunsight. The regular
aiming sight is accompanied by an additional one
indicating the lead that should be taken to
allow the bullets to hit the moving target. However, this
only persists for the first few attack waves and then you
are on your own.
for the game are spectacular. A glint of light in the sky
indicates an enemy fighter appearing in the distance. The
fighter approaches, banking left and right, as it swoops
closer to your location. Its time to use the touch
screen to bring the gunsight onto the enemy and push the
firing button. A trail of black smoke indicates a hit.
Cause enough damage and the fighter will fall out of the
sky, trailing smoke as it descends out of view. However,
if you have really good aim and hit an engine, the enemy
plane will explode in a ball of flame, with debris being
scattered across the sky. Of course, if you miss, and
fail to disable an attacker, he will zoom past you. The
screen flashes and jitters, as a hail of enemy bullets
takes out one of your protective shields. Lose all five
shields and its game over!
The ever-growing attack waves may include the
Messerschmitt Bf 109, Messerschmitt Bf 110, and
Focke-Wulf Fw 190. As you progress through the game,
gaining points and promotions to your military rank as
you do so, the attacks include more fighters and faster
speeds. Recently, the programs developer has added
the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. These guys
just scream across the sky towards you, so be ready with
its not a totally one sided battle. The more you
play, the more you increase your skills. And, as you
amass points, bonus items becomes available for your use.
These include things like limited amounts of
high-explosive shells, water cooling for the guns, and
the opportunity for periods of rapid fire. A novel method
of defense, which can be extremely useful when the action
gets really hectic, is the Flak Attack tool. Hit this
button and a barrage of anti-aircraft shells is released
that disables any nearby fighters and temporarily stuns
every other plane in the sky.
The game has two primary modes of operation arcade
and campaign. In arcade mode, as you amass bonus items
(powerups), these remain available for each subsequent
attack wave. In campaign mode, you can use your hard-won
points to purchase various defensive tools but, once you
use one of these, it is expended and you must re-purchase
it in order to use the same tool again.
The basic game is free to download and play. You are
offered the opportunity to watch an advertisement after
each attack wave in order to restore one of your
defensive shields that has been destroyed. There is a pay
option (a one-time payment of US $3.99) that allows you
to recover one shield per wave without the need to watch
any ads. However, clearly, the programs developer,
also has a well-developed sense of humour since one of
the other options for selecting ads is Hell No
And, dont ask me again!
So, if you need to kill some time on your phone
and kill some enemy fighters that are, after all,
out to destroy you go for a spin as Tail Gun
Tail Gun Charlie
Panic Ensues Software
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Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.