Friday, November 12, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Flight Control Review

Grade: A
Price: $1

If, like me, you hadn't pick up Flight Control because it looked like a boring traffic-pathing game, go ahead and rectify that error right now by springing for the1-buck download. You will not regret it. You can come back and finish the review later.

Flight Control might not seem like a hot purchase, since it appears to nothing more that a dry air traffic control game. Although it is an air traffic control game, there's nothing dry about it. Everything is crisp and professional, from the appealing graphics (done in the style of those hilarious Emergency Landing Cards that inform you of the most comfortable position in which to meet your fiery doom) to the cocktail lounge soundtrack. I'm not sure where the developers, Firemint, came from, but they sure now how to make a game.

The gameplay itself is so perfectly wedded to the touchscreen format that I can't imagine it existing on any other platform. The games is based around 5 different single-screen landing field layouts. Planes and helicopters of differing sizes, speeds, and colors enter the map, and must be sent to the correcting landing spot without plowing into any other aircraft. This is done by drawing a path, which the aircraft will follow.

The action starts slowly, but soon gets fairly tense as the skies crowd and different kinds of planes enter the patterns. You'll have to juggle intersecting paths and suddenly-appearing aircraft while trying to get everyone lined up and on the ground safely. If two planes crash into each other, the game ends. The goal is to land as many planes as possible before this (inevitably) happens.

There's a WiFi/Bluetooth mode that lets you handled the traffic duties with a friend, as well as a number of special achievements, such as keeping an aircraft airborne fore 5 minutes straight.

Flight Control is on the short-list of must-have apps for any serious app gamer.


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