Hands On: Flight Control HD

The guys at Firemint know their market: the evergreen Flight Control has been a hugely popular title on the iPhone since its launch in March 2009, starting as a side project of the studio’s CEO Robert Murray as the team were working on Real Racing.

Whilst the game has since seen a release on the Nintendo DSi, it was the 1080p, multiplayer Move enabled version on the PlayStation 3 that we were most interested in getting our hands on.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to do just that for the last couple of days.

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We’re happy to say it’s an absolute delight. We’re under strict orders not to reveal too much about the game at the moment, but we can tell you that it’s a brilliant conversion. The graphics are gorgeous, the Move controllers work perfectly and the game plays precisely as you’d expect it to – if you’re familiar with the earlier iterations of the game you’ll be right at home, and if you’re new to Flight Control you won’t have a problem catching up.

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In 1080p the game’s distinct aesthetics come alive – maps come in one of two sizes and whilst the more zoomed-in airfields show off the thick black lines of the jets, the larger scale affairs enable much more on-screen action without compromising the clarity. Much like the iPad version, then, Flight Control HD quite happily flits between the two as you dip in and out of the level select screen. There’s a new level – Metropolis – but we’ll keep that surprise for later.

Elsewhere, the option of drop in, drop out gameplay works a treat (with just a quick first-time calibration required for a new Move controller) and you can have any combination of Move or Dualshocks with a maximum of four players at once, all helping co-operatively to build up your scores.

The Dualshock option isn’t quite as fluid as the Move’s, which you’d expect, but the ability to dash between planes with the d-pad is a welcome one. It’s still a viable method, mind, it’s just when you’re used to the immediacy of a finger (or a Move) standard analogs don’t offer the same level of control.

It’s all good. With Flight Control HD Firemint have ensured that there’s an easy to use, pick up and play game ready for the Move’s launch and one that plays off its own ubiquitous familiarity. I don’t yet know what price the game will launch at, but if the studio get that bit right, they’re onto a winner. Excellent stuff.

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25 Comments

  1. Do we know the price yet?

    • Damn my eyes.

      • hahahahaha, hope its not too high

      • Talking if eyes IS THIS IN 3D also??? have you noticed the airstewardess in the picture is wearing 3d glasses? is that the little secret. Is my surname holmes? …..

      • It was announced as having 3D support as well

  2. As said. If the price is right, I’m in!

  3. I just told my wife about this and she is now asking when Move comes out (and if nofi will send us his in the meantime!).
    Last week she was complaining that it’s very expensive and casting me “the look” when I talked about it.
    Excellent work, Firemint!

    • fickle creatures

  4. Is this the first game where we would prefer to use Move than a DS3? That’s a good thing.

    • Not for me. I’m waiting to play Heavy Rain which i think i would personally prefer to the DS3.

      • I played Heavy Rain with Move. It’s … awesome.

      • I bought it about 4 months ago but never got round to playing it, then was going to recently but read online somewhere that it’s so much better with Move, so decided to hold off starting until the patch comes out.

      • i played heavy rain with move, i didn’t like it. . . eyepet is great though, it actually works!

    • Not sure but I had faith in this being a stunning Move-enabled title. Anything that works well with touch-screen is going to transplant to Move soooo well. Top stuff!

      Cheers, nofi, for the article. :-)

  5. Pardon my ignorance, but having never played the iphone version (just a clone from the android marketplace) are these screenshots from the PS3 version? I appreciate this type of game is never going to be about the graphics, but they’re quite underwhelming for a PS3 title, unless they’re going for the mini market?

    • They’re cropped from a far bigger image. Also, if you’ve seen other titles like PJ Monsters, it’s always about the game-play with titles like these.

      • I loved the PJ Monsters graphics though.

    • Wonder the same thing is these screenshots from Ps3? Would like it to be more reality to the quality of the game, this grafic says nintendo

      • We can’t show you screenshots yet, I’m afraid. They’re (as said) cropped from a standard press shot of the iDevice version.

  6. ahhhh now I want to uncancel my move pre order

  7. Looks good, very tempting.

  8. Never played the i phone version as i don’t have one so it will either need a demo or a cheap price tag to make me purchase.

  9. Looks ok, I’ll probably get it..

  10. Interesting, it’s not exactly the type of Move game i was expecting but i guess that it shows how Move can be used to recreate the gameplay in touch-based games and having seen the RTS tech demo i can imagine how Move works with Flight Control. I expect this means more iphone game conversions will follow. I’m not a huge fan of these games but It seems like a good way to expand the Move library quickly and cheaply if they are sold as minis.

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