RC Plane 2 lets you control a remote-controlled plane on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. If you’re already excited about the idea, this may be worth your money. Otherwise, this is a title you’ll probably want to pass on. RC Plane 2 looks sharp and features solid flight sim mechanics, but it just doesn’t have enough going for it to allow us to give it a strong recommendation.
At just $0.99, you can’t expect an eighty-hour campaign, but there is woefully little to do in RC Plane 2 unless you’re willing to spend nearly ten dollars to gain access to all of its game modes. Without the extra content available via in-app purchase, all you can do is freely roam one of the game’s two environments, complete the tutorial, or play time trials.
Highway to the danger zone.
The time trials are too similar to the game’s tutorial to feel like a proper game in and of themselves. As you did when learning how to control the plane, you take off from the ground and collect coins in the air. The only difference between this game mode and the tutorial is that you are timed and can fail if you take too long to reach your next coin. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear where the next coin is. This can be frustrating when the checkpoints require quick turns.
The mechanics feel like they were carefully modeled after real-life physics, but the game’s control scheme makes it difficult to get a firm hold over the action. Though we wouldn’t want them to cover half of the screen, the on-screen control sticks feel way too small and make subtle movements very difficult. Pitching your plane up or down without also rolling it to one side or another is irritatingly hard to manage, and using the accelerometer as an alternative didn’t feel like an improvement. Too often the controls act as an obstacle to the precisely crafted mechanics, rather than a conduit to them.
Carpet bomb ’em.
We tried out two of the more attractive downloadable game modes, Firefighter and Road Runner. They were $1.99 and $0.99 respectively, and didn’t feel like compelling expansions to the existing content. In the former, you control a seaplane that can scoop up water to put out fires on the shore. It’s more tedious than it is fun, and it’s not easy to recommend at twice the cost of the standard game.
In Road Runner, you fly a jet low to the ground for as long as you can, getting a higher score multiplier the closer you are to the road underneath you. It’s a little more interesting than the other content we played, but you earn points even after crashing, which feels like a mistake. Like the other add-on we tried, it didn’t feel like it was worth its price.
If you really want a portable flight sim and can handle the imprecise on-screen control sticks well enough, you may enjoy RC Plane 2 and its add-ons. Otherwise, we can’t say there’s a lot to enjoy in this package. The game’s objectives aren’t very rewarding to complete unless you’re already invested in the challenge of flying.