While making the world's latest video game about the Tom Cruise classic, the Top Gun iPhone development team took a few liberties — in the name of both fun and air supremacy.
There's a man called Maverick and a guy nicknamed Iceman giving you orders as you fly missions under their tutelage.
There are fighter jets.
There is the song Danger Zone playing in the background.
The essential ingredients appear to be in last week's iPhone release of Top Gun, a game developed by Freeverse and published by Paramount Digital Entertainment.
But some tweaks to the formula established in the 1986 Tom Cruise blockbuster had to be applied.
1) Players are required not to fly into the danger zone, but out of it. Ignoring the key lesson from Top Gun's most famous song, gamers are supposed to tilt their plane so that it is never overlapping with any of the flashing Danger Zone icons that can appear in any of nine sectors of the iPhone screen. If your plane is in the Danger Zone, you need to get out of it. This was done because, well, development studio Freeverse needed to put a game mechanic in their game. Flying out of the danger zone is just that. It's what you do to win at this game.
2) F-14s are gone. The signature plane of the Top Gun series is not in this game. Why? Freeverse senior producer Bruce Morrison told Kotaku: "We wanted to show that the Top Gun program has progressed but is still at the pinnacle of aviation." So, no F14s. Instead, the player flies the modern F-22. (We failed to find out why Tom Cruise isn't in the game, but it's not surprising. The actor has not been featured in several games based on his movies).
3) There's a Days of Thunder cross-over. What Tom Cruise did with fighter jets in Top Gun he did later with stock cars in Days of Thunder. Well, if you can't have Cruise play Maverick, then you can have Cole Trickle, Cruise's character in Days of Thunder, sub for Maverick. Paramount showed Kotaku that exclusive: punch in your player name as Cole Trickle, and you'll be Trickle in the briefing room and you'll fly Trickle's car in the sky. Armed with guns and a cannon, of course.
Our Top Gun demo, it should be noted, occurred in a Paramount meeting room in Times Square. On the wall were posters showing scenes from other movies from the studio, including Titanic and Forrest Gump. They wouldn't have put characters from those games in there too, would they?