Review

Flight Control HD Review (PS3)

Originally an iPhone game, Flight Control's fame soared (excuse the pun) thanks to a simple yet addictive premise - guiding coloured planes into specific runways. Over the next year, oodles of content was pumped into the concept as it was released on iPad, Android phones and Nintendo DSiWare. Now the Playstation Move has got its own version, and once again it's hectic, nail-biting stuff.

Perfect! Well done! Amazing!
If you were a fan of the original, you're going to love this. This version of Flight Control HD doesn't really have the full pick-up-and-playability of the handheld editions, but it still feels great to play, and there are plenty of added extras to keep you coming back for more - especially with co-op multiplayer included.

Presented with a set of runways and helicopter landing pads, your job is to point at the aircraft that appear randomly around the edges of the screen, then draw a line to guide them to their appropriate runways. Red planes must land on the red runway, blue helicopters must land on the blue landing pad, and so on. As planes are landed in succession, the number of aircraft on screen at any one time will increase.

This is where the action gets just that little bit hectic. Allow to planes to collide with each other mid-air, and you'll receive an instant game over for your negligence. Planes don't have to be sent directly to the runway, and can be flown all over the sky before landing if needs be - hence, the idea is to quickly decide which plane to land first, then tell the others to soar about for a bit, making sure they don't crash.

This is far more difficult than it sounds, especially when you consider than different sized planes travel at different speeds. Keeping an eye on the entire screen at all times is insanely taxing stuff, yet so deeply rewarding at the same time. The first time I managed to get a score of over 100, I felt a sense of accomplishment that most games fail to deliver.
 
That seems like a lot of planes for one Aircraft Carrier...
It all gets even more mental when you introduce extra players into the mix. Up to four local players can work together to keep the airport running smoothly - and fortunately you don't need four Move controllers, as a regular Playstation pad can be used instead. Note, however, that the Move controller feels far more effortless to use, so you'll find your friends all fighting over who gets to use the Move!

The game looks gorgeous too, with striking visuals and a pleasing interface. The menus are simple to navigate - easier, we'd argue, than moving around the Playstation menus with the Move controller - and it's so simple for a complete beginner to pick up and understand, yet complex enough that a veteran player will break a sweat going for as many planes as possible.

The music is fun, easy-listening, although we found that whenever we entered a level, the music would soon disappear and we'd be left with the sounds of planes zooming in and warning sirens whenever aircraft got too close to each other. A bit of in-action music wouldn't have gone astray!

As fun as Flight Control is, there's only so much gaming you can squeeze out of the concept. There are nine maps in total, but each plays very similarly to the others, and by the time you've played through them all you'll most likely feel that you've had enough. It was easy to become addicted to the iPhone version, mainly because you could play it anyway - it's hard not to want one more go when you've still got a bus ride ahead of you.

The Move edition doesn't have this feverish addiction, as after losing it's far too easy to put the controller down and decide that you've had enough. Fortunately, there are extras to keep you entertained for a little while longer. Online global scoreboards track your best scores via a lovely departure board-style ranking system, and there are some great Playstation trophies to bag that make you play the game in entirely different ways. Try not to land a plane for three whole minutes and then you'll know the real definition of masochistic gaming.
 
Congratulation! Out- wait, why is she wearing a Kimono?
Flight Control HD may be a little short on content, but it's still one of the best downloadable Move games available right now. Get a few friends over and try running your own airport traffic control - the laughs will soon be rolling in.

Top Game Moment: Getting a score of over 100, then starting the real challenge.

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Comments

By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Oct 27, 2010
bosnian_dragon
Cool looking game. Addiction that I'd love to play on PC. Is there a PC version yet?
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Oct 27, 2010
stuntkid
Looks very similar to that boat game also on iphone!