Flight Control HD
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 7

If you haven’t already had enough of this game on mobile devices now is your chance to experience it on your PC. It is quite an addictive game if played in short bursts, although once you have gotten all the achievements and topped the leaderboards there isn’t much left to do besides chase your own highscores.

Gameplay: Easy to grasp, but things become tricky very quickly.

Graphics: Looks good in high definition.

Sound: Very little in the way of music and sound effects

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Flight Control HD

Developer: Firemint | Publisher: Firemint | Release Date: 2010 | Genre: Action / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

If you own an iPad or IOS device, chances are you have already heard of or even played Flight Control. This addictive little game places you in the shoes of an air traffic controller that has to guide a never-ending stream of aircraft to their color coded landing spots. On mobile devices, this was accomplished by tracing guiding lines using your fingers and the touch screens, but for this PC version, you will have to settle for mouse input. While this makes for a less visceral experience there is still a lot of fun to be had here, especially if you are a newcomer.

The game might be called Flight Control HD now, but do not go expecting great visuals. Everything has been kept plain and simple so you can see exactly what is going on at all times. While it looks good at higher resolutions the visuals still never rises above that of a Flash game. This might scare off some people, but I found the visual style to be very nice and it fits the light-hearted feel of the game perfectly.

The game features a new “stunt” map where you can fly stunt planes through gates for extra points but apart from this Steam exclusive level, everything else seems to be lifted straight from the iPad game. You have a total of nine levels which are unlocked sequentially by the amount of planes that you land successfully. Things start off very easy, but escalates quite quickly and before you know it you have a screen full of planes all heading for a collision course unless you intervene quickly enough.

The aircraft, which includes, planes, jets and helicopters will all enter the playing field from the edges of the screen at which point you have to drag a line from them to the correct landing strip. Everything is color coded, but once you have connected an aircraft to its landing spot it will turn white to indicate that it has been dealt with. To make things more challenging the aircraft all move at different speeds so you will often have to make corrections to certain flight paths to avoid collisions. The lines you have drawn remain on the screen so you can see where they intersect and plan accordingly.

You receive one point for each successful landing, but if at any point the aircraft collide, it results in an instant Game Over screen. The game throws a few curveballs at you as well like changing wind directions requiring you to switch runways and emergency planes appearing with flight paths that you cannot alter. Once you have blue, red, yellow, green and orange planes all coming in from different directions and requiring guidance it almost feels like spinning plates just to keep them in the air and away from each other.

I did find that whenever I guide planes along the edges of the screen some other plane will appear at their exact location and cause a crash which happens too quickly to avert. This happened too many times to simply be a coincidence and it is a very annoying way to lose the game. While avoiding the edges solves this problem, it also limits your playing area making the game harder. In case you find the game too slow there is a fast forward button which handily enough reverts back to normal speed if a crash is imminent. It would have been nice if you could pause the game and issue flight paths, but you are afforded no such luxuries.

The music, while nice, is rather repetitive and seems to consist solely of one or two looping tracks with long periods of silence in-between. There is very little in the way of sound effects either and apart from a warning siren to focus your attention on potential collisions, you are left in silence. I suppose this helps with the concentration, but at the very least a few more tunes could have been added. Speaking of things that could have been added, the PC version lacks any form of multi-player which is a strange omission seeing as some of the other platforms have this. It also lacks some of the maps and features found in other versions like the day/night cycle and stormy weather conditions. You have a whole host of Steam achievements to aim for as well as leaderboards but it would have been nice to see more content updates to extend the longevity of the game.

If you are not a fan of simple casual games or already played Flight Control to death on other platforms you can probably skip this version. If you like chasing high scores and can appreciate an addictive game built around a simple concept you will appreciate what is on offer here. I found this game to work best in short bursts as after a couple of hours you will probably have squeezed everything out of it. I did find myself returning to this game until I unlocked all the achievements so it definitely offers value for money. It has also been featured a few times in Steam sale events so with a bit of patience you will be able to pick it up for really cheap.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Vista and 7
    • Processor: 1GHz
    • Memory: 512MB
    • Graphics: 64MB
    • DirectX®: Directx 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 90MB
    • Sound: Directx 9 compatible card
    • OS: Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Vista and 7
    • Processor: 2GHz
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: 64MB
    • DirectX®: Directx 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 90MB
    • Sound: Directx 9 compatible card
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: 1GHz (Intel Only)
    • Memory: 512MB
    • Graphics: 64MB
    • Hard Drive: 90MB
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor:2GHz (Intel Only)
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: 64MB
    • Hard Drive: 90MB

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