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.
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.
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.