Updated: Flight Control Review

In our initial review of Flight Control, we expressed the hope that Firemint would release additional content for the game. As of version 1.2, Flight Control now has a bevy of new features and content that are more than enough to earn the game a coveted “Must Have” rating.

The new content includes two additional airfields: a beachside resort and an aircraft carrier, as well as nine new types of aircraft. This helps keep the game fresh, and those changes alone probably would have been enough to warrant our new rating, but it turns out this new content is just the tip of the iceberg.

The game now offers a fast forward button, which speeds up the action. This is especially valuable when gunning for a top score to help you get through the early, slow-paced phase considerably faster. Plus, the game will now save your progress if you have to exit in the middle of a session and prompt you to resume your game when you restart the app. This is a welcome feature, as we’ve lost some great scores in the past because of interruptions.

As if all this stuff weren’t enough, the game now features a fairly robust online component, allowing you to post your high score and compare with others. More advanced functionality is available via cloudcell.com, including the ability to link your account to Twitter to automatically send a Tweet if you’ve earned a new high score.

The game was a hair’s breadth away from earning a 4 in its initial release, and the game deserves full recognition. And at 99 cents, it’s a game that no iPhone gamer should miss.

Similar to time management staples like Diner Dash, Flight Control takes a tedious profession like Air Traffic Controller and molds it into a light-hearted and engaging experience. The game’s core mechanic is already a lot of fun, and with a bit more content, we think that it could really take off.

Oh good gravy…

In Flight Control, your job is to land an ever-increasing number of inbound aircraft at an airport, viewed from the top down. If two planes collide, you lose (and so do all of those virtual passengers). You command aircraft by drawing a flight path from a plane or helicopter to the corresponding runway matching the color of the aircraft. There are fast-moving jets, slower prop planes, and really slow helicopters, each with its corresponding runway or landing pad. As more and more planes pop onto the screen, the flight paths become more and more tangled, until the game ends with the inevitable air disaster.

This all controls very well and it is easy to draw the path you want. Flight Control is also pretty forgiving about your landing angle, meaning you can put the planes through some crazy and improbable antics before touching down. The game gives you a clear visual warning when two aircraft are close to colliding, or when an aircraft is about to fly onto the screen. The graphics are clean and simple, and the sound provides just the right amount of feedback you need without getting annoying. Most games last about 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, Flight Control is a little light on options and content. There is only one difficulty level, one airport and one set of planes. As much fun as the game is, you will tire of it faster than if there were a variety of levels. It is a perfectly satisfying game at 99 cents, but the package is a little basic right now to ask much more than that.

Flight Control has definitely started off on the right foot. It does a good job of scaling up the tension while keeping you right on the edge of control. It is a perfect fit for the iPhone and the controls are clean and bug-free. We just hope that the developer decides to continue to add content to extend the life of the game.

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