If proof was needed that PlayStation Move could turn its hand to anything, Flight Control HD is that guarantee. The evergreen iPhone favourite from Australian developers Firemint is tinged with simple, singular Antipodean charm yet manages to provide one of the PlayStation 3’s most hardcore challenges, and is effortlessly brilliant when married with the brand new motion control device. On the surface, directing incoming planes to their appropriate runway might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, but when it’s presented with such grace and self belief it’s hard to avoid. Flight Control HD’s top down, pastel coloured airports and helipads look delightful in 1080p on a big screen and lose none of their appeal taken away from the confortable confines of a phone’s display.
It’s a deceptively simple idiom – grab any one of the increasingly numerous planes that meander on their own set path and draw a line to their runway. Once the plane has landed, it fades away and you attention will already be three or four planes ahead – it’ll have to be because without your guidance the planes will crash, and a single collision represents an untimely end to your game. Thrown into the mix is the notion that the planes, colour coded as they are with distinctive red, orange and blue hues must be matched to their own similarly coloured runways; and then there’s the helicopters that require steering to their own cyan-based helipad. Add different speeds for different planes (even of the same colour) and you can see how this can get hectic.
However, a skilled player sets up flight paths – outwardly complicated but to the Move wielder a self-taught exercise in simplicity – on which he plans landings, queues up waiting aircraft and pushes in and out the speedier jets as appropriate. Soon, dizzying arrays of lines populate the screen, tight circles representing a delayed landing and dots as straight as an arrow show the plodding chopper pilot where he must go, and quickly. Red arrows punctuate the edges, showing the player where the next incoming danger awaits, and ultimately, a canned explosion shows where his thoughts (and pointer) should have been.
Naturally, Firemint haven’t just ported over the iPhone (or, rather, iPad) version because Flight Control on the PlayStation 3 supports drop in, drop out gameplay for some great multiplayer action. If you’ve got friends with Move controllers (or you’re splashing out yourself) then the game becomes far more manageable at the higher levels assuming everyone knows what everyone else is doing and stick to the plan, but the game’s happy enough letting you use a Dual Shock, which works a lot smoother than you’d think. There’s also the ability to play in 3D if you’ve got the technology to match, an option that surpasses the similar (but less effective) attempt to offer 3D on the iPad version. Finally, look out for an exclusive map – Metropolis – with a rather cool day and night mechanic.
- It’s Flight Control
- It’s cheap (£3.99)
- Great fun with friends
- Long term appeal is based on your ability to challenge your own high scores
Flight Control on the PlayStation 3 is absolutely the best version of the game currently available, and if you’re picking up PlayStation Move this week then it’s a must have because when you’re tired of chopping hair or flying down Asian streets on an office chair, the pensive mood of Flight Control might be just what you need. It’s also a great way to introduce anyone that’s already played the game on their phone to the new controller, as they won’t have to learn another game, just the input method. Flight Control might not be the most technically impressive game on the PS3 (or even in the Move library) but it’s one of the best, and comes highly recommended to anyone that’s already fallen in love with the timeless gameplay, subtle graphics and – yes – that music.