AC-130 Spectre review

Triniti continue their modern war series of games with AC-130 Spectre, a combat simulator which sees you taking to the skies in a Lockhead AC130 (an attack variation of the Hercules) and taking out terrorists with gatling guns and howitzer missiles.

Playing across 10 missions you must provide air support for your ground ops by skilfully lining up in your sites and destroying patrol vehicles, SAM turrets, ground troops, tanks and targeted buildings. Before each mission you are given a briefing which indicates what targets you need to take out in order to complete the objective. Most of these early missions see you simply taking out all visible enemies, but later you must be careful not to hit any civilians.

The battlefield is presented to you through night vision, with enemies and targets showing up brighter against ground and foliage. You have three weapons at your disposal. A gatling gun for taking out troops; rockets for taking out vehicles and buildings; and then about half way through the game you unlock the use of the Howlitzer missiles which wreak far more devastation.

The game plays out a like an on-rails shooter, with the flight of the AC-130 itself automatically controlled for you. This allows you to concentrate on targeting and delivering killer blows. To aim you must use the tilt function of the iPhone, and for quick pans of the battlefield you can swipe across the screen with your finger, with the tilt used for more precise aiming. In the lower right hand corner you select from your three weapons types, with each offering a different zoom view of the battlefield. On the left is a big red fire button. Weapons are unlimited, with only the Howlitzer requiring a pause for reload between shots.

There is no doubting where Triniti got their inspiration from, and that’s Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. While the majority of that game is a first person shooter, a mission later in the game entitled ‘Death from above’ sees you doing exactly this style of play. Triniti’s AC-130 does a great job of replicating that part of COD4, right down to the look and feel. However, this game doesn’t quit feature the same great animation, which, while not bad, feels a little jerky and wooden. The AI isn’t as good either, with troops idly walking on even if their comrades have fallen to your shots just metres away. I’d like to see better AI routines that have them scattering when you attack which would add to the challenge of aiming.

AC-130 is a solid effort at bringing the excitement of that COD4 style gameplay to the iPhone. The missions could do with a little more variation, and it’s a little too easy, with predictable enemy spawn points. With some better level design this game could be great.

At $2.99 it’s a little pricey for the amount of content, but it’s incredibly good fun, at least for the initial play through.

Presentation and graphics


Almost perfectly recreates the feel of the COD4 level, with great use of night vision effect, and solid, if a little wooden 3D animation. The game runs pretty smooth too.




Sounds of the weapons are good, and the game includes some nice voice over work which ads to the atmosphere of a real operation.




Controls work very well, and the game is fun to play. But more variation and better AI would make the current ease of the missions more of a challenge.




Only a handful of missions won’t hold your attention for long. Most missions take around 3-5 minutes to complete. Hopefully Triniti will ring out some more in an update. Beyond the game you have achievements, but most are purely for completing a level, with no special bonus achievements awarded for skill.




As one of my favourite missions in COD4 beyond multi-player, I was excited to see Triniti developing this game and trying to replicate that experience. After playing it I was surprised how well it plays, but after time with the game that initial fun wears thin, with it’s flaw becoming apparent. With some more polish and more levels, this could be a must have for war fans on the iPhone.

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    graphics dont look that good to me! is it all black and white?

  • Rock $ Rolla


  • iPGN-Nige

    Yeah, it’s supposed to be black and white….. it’s night vision!

  • pr @ triniti games

    Thanks for the review. We are working on an update for the game right now. One of its features are, du to public demand, a couple of new missions. It should be released within a week or two.

  • Ryan

    “graphics dont look that good to me! is it all black and white?” –

    ^legend haven’t played Call of Duty – Modern Warfare?!? :-O

  • Leroy

    Having problems getting thru level with smokestacks seems hard to make out targets like warehouses and what count of enemies or buildings left to destroy

  • Chris

    Having a nightmare completing mission escorting the helicopter back over the river with guns and sams and only two minutes to complete it! Have tried killing everything within two minutes and even that doesnt work! Any clues please…

  • Chris

    Leroy – swop down to the gattling gun to get a good view of what is left to destroy – much better vision with the gun..


    It’s not night vision….It’s FLIR…

  • Briyawn

    Good Game, but still not sure how many points to move up, good graphics, perfect for your 5 minute toilet breaks

  • Kevin

    Having a nightmare completing mission escorting the helicopter back over the river with guns and sams and only two minutes to complete it! Have tried killing everything within two minutes and even that doesnt work! Any clues please…

    same here! I’ve done this level probably 20 times and I’ve killed all the terrorist, SAMs and aa sites. The helicopter just turns around at the end and the mission fails…

  • AyoSon

    Wazzup people…
    The level is called: Amritsa

    Briefing: Escort the rescue team helicopter back to back. Be careful of enemy SAMs on the River Sides.

    On the minimap theres 10 arrows.
    Press PLAY it says:

    AA GUN 7
    SAM 3

    FREINDLY 2………………

    I think were failing the mission because theres FREINDLYS we shot AT.



  • T

    I am also having trouble with the amritsa level. any help would be huge. i am frustrated.

  • E

    Bah. Yet another Triniti game that eventually gets to a completely unwinnable level. In iSniper it’s the helicopter that you can hit wherever and however often you like without destroying it (and which sometimes flies behind a hill and out of view entirely, hardly fair!). Here in AC-130 Spectre it’s the Amritsa scenario, where you can kill all the SAMs and AA successfully within the two minutes, fast enough that the helicopter isn’t significantly damaged (smoking), and you still get a mission fail at the end of the two minutes. LAME!!! Triniti please fix both!!!!

  • David Bell

    I too, can’t win this Amritea level. I’ve killed all the SAMs before they fire, and killed all the AA sites AND all the people on the ground within the 2 minutes and I can’t win. It always says MISSION FAILED!

    How do I win this level?

  • Dave

    Same here – has anyone managed to complete this mission?

  • Reid

    I have the same problem as everyone else!! annoying PLEASE HELP!!

  • Adam

    LOL, same issue here. I found the levels so far relatively easy but this one is just impossible to beat. I must have tried over 50 times by now. I can kill everything, and the chopper undamaged, turns around and MISSION FAILED. Friendlies? Hmmm… sounds possible. But where are they? I don’t see any friendlies, they must be obstructed by something.

  • AJ

    Same here.
    I am making a sortie at least 100 times.

  • Dan B

    Same here…just can’t get this level.

  • abackle

    in the Amritsa Level you just need to keep on hitting the enemy units as you destroy the guns. All terrorists should be Killed.. I tried it like a million times finally got it.

  • abackle

    also found out that this is the last level of the game.. ;)

  • AJ

    I got “MISSION COMPLETE” at the 101st time!
    I shot in order of near enemies.
    Even if it is person or gun, I used 40 mm for all.

    It’s a strange mission.

  • Tbizzle

    So you killed everything? I don’t understand…I’ve tried it a million times and always end up getting bored and trying to shoot the heli with my 105mm

  • AJ

    Yes, I killed all enemies.
    Heli is a friend, you should not shoot it.

    Anyway, I defeated pairs of gun and soldiers in order.
    Time remained for about 40 seconds.

  • AJ

    You should destroy from a nearby party.
    40mm is most efficient.

  • Bb

    This last mission is ridiculous , tried million times, really bad way to end the campaign. Last tome i ever get this brand again.

  • ufrrj99

    I need the log files of the complete game. I dont pass by suicide mission. My email Email to me for details. I need very much this program files.