Review: Flight Control
Ever want to be a flight controller? The most stressful job (so I hear) ever? Well, if you want the fun, but don't want the stress, Flight Control is the game for you.
With Flight Control, you play a flight controller who needs to guide planes in for a safe landing. You have two runways (red and yellow) and one helicopter pad (blue). As planes fly in, they are either red or yellow, indicating which runway they need to land on (helicopters can only land on the pad). Your job is to guide the planes to the appropriate runway while avoiding in-air collisions.
Sounds easy, right? Sure it is...when there are only one or two planes coming in at a time. But as time progresses, more and more planes enter the playing field, increasing the risk of close calls and collisions.
The process of guiding a plane is very simple. Simply tap the plane, and slide you finger along the path you want the plane to take. As you are creating the path, it appears as a dotted line. When you lift you finger, the planes path is "set", and it starts to follow it. Need to adjust a path? Just tap the plane and slide your finger to create a new path. Not sure you know where you want the plane to go? Draw it flying in circles or a big loop, and then come back to it later. Don't forget about a plane though! If a plane finished it's path and hasn't landed, it just keeps flying straight (pilots are sort of dumb like that).
This game is really sort of cool, and there aren't any other games out there like it. The controls are very easy, making good use of the touch screen. The game warns your of potential collisions and incoming aircraft (which are offscreen so you can't see them). As with most games, I wish there were some sort of multiplayer or competitive option, but the game can get pretty hectic on it's own. The game's difficulty increases quickly - one or two planes on the screen is fine, but with 5 or 6 planes it can be very difficult to keep track of them all.
I would love to see some different "airport" options - different layouts of runways and helicopter pads, so you could choose which airport you wanted. This would also be a good way to allow different difficulty levels. But the included airport is fun. The stats page gives you a nice rundown of your performance, including your average score, the most planes on the screen at one time, you highest score, etc.
Pros: New game concept, easy game play
Cons: No multiple airports
All in all, this is a fun little game. It takes the iPhone and brings a new game concept to it (at least a concept I haven't seen before). The game design is perfect for the iPhone. At $.99 (current grand opening sale) the game is a must try. The normal price is probably going to be $2.99, and even at that price it is worth it. Four and a half out of five stars.
Edit: Review Update.
An update to this game was recently released, which includes multiplayer and two more airports. Given the long term enjoyment of this game, I now increase my rating to five out of five stars!
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.