Flight Control HD has made its way from a tiny iPhone screen to the high definition PlayStation 3. Available via PSN this wallet friendly land-them-up title is a fun and addictive experience.
The concept is very simple indeed. You are a flight controller and it is your job to land as many aircraft as quickly and as safely as possible. This is done by selecting the wayward jets, helicopters and light aircraft, and providing them with a hazard free flight-path to the matching coloured runway.
At first this is a fairly trivial task. There aren’t too many aircraft on the screen, so guiding them to the airfield is fairly easy. Then things get ugly. More aircraft appear on your scope, faster aircraft appear in the sky, the slow lumbering helicopters get in the way, and soon you end up with a mid-air collision on your hands. Not only is it game over for the pilot and passengers, but the player’s journey also comes to an abrupt end. Fortunately the task isn’t made more difficult by terrorist hijackers, that would perhaps be a bit too much for anyone.
Things can be made even more difficult for yourself by selecting the different landing strip maps. The first few are relatively well spaced, with slowing moving jumbos. Move up the difficulties and you’ll find yourself having to control the airspace on aircraft carriers with supersonic jets, or multiple runway affairs where it can get busier than JFK and Heathrow combined. Speaking of Move, although the game can be played with the DualShock controller, Flight Control HD also supports Sony’s new motion control system. This truly makes the game come alive and works amazingly well, tracing the flight paths like an extended pen.
Should you have a fellow gaming mate, it’s possible to play as local co-op controllers, making it just that little bit easier, and that little bit more competitive. The same rules apply in that all aircraft must make it safely to the runway without hitting anything, so there are no griefing shenanigans to speak of, unless you really are being the biggest tool in the shed.
A game like this doesn’t really cater much to fancy light shaded and texture mapped graphics. No, things are kept very simple with plane icons and landing destinations made very clear – but it’s the hypnotic 40s like music that will have you humming along, and potentially driving you mad as there’s only the one track. Given the ferocity of the gameplay, levels don’t really last more than five minutes or so, unless you truly are a legend with fighter pilot like reflexes. It is very addictive though, so the often said “just one more go” feeling really does apply here, forever trying to beat your personal best.
For the princely sum of £4, Flight Control HD is a title you can pick up on a whim, it’s worth taking the risk that you might not like it at that price, but I guarantee the chances are you’ll have a fun time on the cheap. If you have a Move controller it’s an essential purchase – the game comes highly recommended.
Marty has been gaming since the heady years of the ZX-81 and still owns most of the gaming systems purchased since those days, including the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, SNES, Jaguar, Dreamcast and GameCube. Being a collection junkie (or more accurately, hoarder), he buys more games than he can possibly play, far too many of which are still sealed in their packaging. Marty favours RPGs and Driving games when it comes to genres, and is possibly a little bit too addicted to Disgaea. When not gaming he’s out frightening OAPs on his motorcycle, clad in black leather.