The name does a good job of explaining how this peripheral works. Instead of hitting a toy-like facsimile of a drum, you are "hitting" air. The Simon-esque drum pad is equipped with sensors that detect when the specially-designed drum sticks are swung above. It's certainly a novel idea, one that has some immediate benefits: without the need for replica cymbals, this device is incredibly small. For those struggling with plastic instrument clutter, this is a rather clever solution. (Bonus: The AirStrike is also compatible with current Rock Band and Guitar Hero games.) Another perk of the device: it's quiet. Your roommates won't be bothered by the loud sounds of plastic tapping.
While the AirStrike offers some improvements over previous drum peripherals, it's significantly more difficult to use. With a physical object to hit, it's easy to determine what's wrong. Here, as I kept on missing a string of notes, I couldn't help but wonder what was at fault: the game, the drums or me.
While there is a flashing LED atop each of the drum pads, it's of little help compared to the physicality of hitting a real-life object. Attempting to look at both the screen and the drums at the same time, it was nearly impossible to know if I was simply hitting the pads too early/too late, if I was hitting the wrong area or if the drums weren't registering my hits.