Flight Control HD is what happens when a simple idea finds a pleasing mechanic. The smooth, crisp visuals and that now-infamous background music complete a basic package which first caught mass appeal on the iPhone.
There have been various releases on various platforms using varied control methods but just recently Flight Control leapt from its touch-screen roots and the novelty of Sony’s motion control system onto a platform where control methods are as ingrained with the audience as you are ever likely to find. With its Steam release, Flight Control HD has lost the safety net it may have had with a control gimmick behind it.
Releasing on the PC (and Mac) is an affordable route to market and one which was inevitable really. This time, though, the downloading masses will only have the core mechanic and gameplay to cling to. The control system is enshrined in keyboard, mouse and touchpad. Will Flight Control fall short without that engaging delight of a fresh and imaginative control system?
Well, no, it doesn’t. If anything, the mouse control makes Flight Control HD even more compelling. Take away the need to acclimatize to a strange system of drawing precise lines with potentially clumsy fingers or waving a glowing orb at a screen and all you have is the gameplay. But that gameplay is as focussed, as engaging and as compelling as it ever was. More so with no distractions.
We’ve gone over Flight Control HD before and we won’t waste your time with rehashing old comments here. This version is the same as those that have come before it. The only pertinent facts you need to be aware of are that it is extremely affordable (£2.99 on Steam) and the mouse control works perfectly. Firemint has even included a very useful trackpad mode whereby the shift key substitutes for the left mouse button, making this game one of the few that is as comfortable on a laptop’s trackpad as it is with a desktop’s mouse.
Flight Control HD is a gem of a game, one of the heroes of the modern movement towards downloadable titles that appeal to wide audiences without sacrificing a compelling mechanic and difficulty curve that will appeal to the self-proclaimed “hardcore”. This game can give you hours of pleasure, get a few friends on the leader-boards and that quickly turns into days of pleasure.
If you don’t already own Flight Control in one of its previous forms then we can heartily recommend this version. If you already own Flight Control on one or more platforms then, at this price, we can suggest you get it again anyway for ease of access. Like Peggle and Bejeweled before it, we think you should never be more than five meters away from a device capable of running Flight Control, just in case. Those ‘planes won’t land themselves.