Publisher: ndWare Pty Ltd.
Genre: Flight Simulation
Release date: Available now
Review by: Chris Micieli
As more and more games are released for the iPod and iPhone, one thing becomes clear: games for the device can either be very detailed, take up much of your time and energy; or they can be very simple. Most would think that the simple games would be on the mundane side, but if you can find the right one, you’ll find yourself selecting it over and over again. Developer FireMint’s Flight Control fits perfectly into this category.
The format is a simple one: land airplanes; don’t crash them; get a point. If they crash, game over. There is only one level in Flight Control and its look never changes. Sounds simple, and it is, but the longer you play, the more planes you are required to land. This leads to more planes on your screen and a bigger chance of crashing.
There are four types of planes that you must guide to safety: a blue helicopter (that you land on the blue helicopter pad), a small yellow Cessna-type plane (that you land on the yellow landing strip) and two different-sized, generic pink planes (that you land on the pink landing strip). The difference between the pink planes is that the larger ones fly faster than the smaller ones, so when you have both planes flying to the same landing strip, it can be difficult and somewhat tricky to land them. Landing the planes and copters is simple. Exclamation points appear at random times, letting you know where the next plane is about to enter your screen. Just touch your plane and draw a line to its matching landing strip. Once you’re locked onto the correct strip, the plane’s color changes to white and it follows the path you drew for it. As you land more planes, more are thrown at you, so at any given point you will have four, five, six or more aircraft under your control. You might have a plane locked onto a landing strip, but it’s on a collision course with another aircraft that’s locked onto a different strip, so you’ll need to change the course of one or both planes so that they each can land safely. Flight Control goes from simple to difficult rather quickly and challenges just how fast you can move your fingers.
The music is a nice addition, but doesn’t add anything to the game. For some reason it cuts out after about 30 seconds anyway, so it’s pretty much a non-factor. Flight Control also allows you listen to your own tunes rather than the music that was created for the game (a nice addition that more and more apps are including). As for sound effects, the sound of the planes crashing (which they eventually do) is amusing.
Obviously, your goal is to land as many planes as possible. There isn’t a time limit, so you play until aluminum showers ensue. It would be nice to be given the option of playing a level-based game, but I constantly find myself going back to this app for the sole purpose of beating my own high score. Recently the developer released an online update that compares your score to those of the people in your area. A link brings you to cloudcell.com, and shows you where you rank among local players, and if you just can’t go to bed at night without knowing where the person ahead of you lives, just use the map and you can zoom in on the player’s street.
For 99 cents this app is a no-brainer buy. It’s simple, effective, and if you have five minutes to kill, it’s perfect. Rumor has it that more updates are on the way, as well as a price increase. So turn over those couch cushions, find your 99 cents and get Flight Control while it’s still dirt cheap. And, if you’re wondering, my current high score is 68. Good for 4th in my area.