While this is a different take on a familiar theme, there's no discounting the quick-paced fun to be had. Steambirds Alliance is a shooter that requires some strategic elements to survive, or just a quick finger to fire the afterburners and get out of harm's way while waiting for your health bar to regenerate. What's interesting and also different about this fast-paced play is the inclusion of permadeath into the already hectic action. If you're defeated, that sparkly plane you invested time and possibly real money in (thanks to its in-game purchases) goes bye-bye, and you have to build up another plane from scratch. That manages to raise the stakes even higher than ever before when you're on a mission. The graphical elements are two dimensional, but sport some nice colors in the backgrounds and the planes. Unfortunately, the audio is flat and consists mostly of repetitive background music, which can get old fast when you realize that you fight a mission, collect points, improve your plane, and do it all over again.
There were some problems logging in at times and the current player base for the game is small. Overall, though, the action's easy to jump in to, and the enemies just keep coming and coming. Players can determine how long they wish to play, and can escape from a battlefield at almost any time, which is a nice element, especially if you need a break or want to save a plane that you've been improving for a long time. Steambirds Alliance is enjoyable, especially in short spurts, but the wash, rinse, and repeat formula does get old in longer play sessions.