Flight Control (DSiWare) Review
Flight Control has been an absolute phenomenon on Apple’s iDevices; The game had its debut on the App store just under a year ago and in that time has received over 2 million times purchases worldwide! Now the Aussie developed hit is on DSiWare, so how does it hold up?
The good news is that it indeed transfers very well to Nintendo’s system. The game of Flight Control isn’t something you can stuff up easily, as it is very simple to play, but that is in no way a negative since it’s this simplicity that brings you coming back again and again. Flight Control puts you in the role of, well, the flight control team at one of five themed airports – one which is exclusive to DSiWare. The standard stage is just a field out in the middle of nowhere, but you also have a beach resort, an aircraft carrier, the Aussie Outback and a new windy snow stage. You’ll have to land different planes on their respective runways as well as take care of helicopters that also need to land. The planes all travel at different speeds, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
Things get mixed up when you head to the advanced levels (all levels are unlocked from the beginning). On th Australian stage, for instance, you’ll have incoming emergency flights (Royal Flying Doctor in the iPhone version, the branding is missing here) which need to land ASAP. On the snow stage, planes will have to land on different strips depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Again, this all very simple until you get about 2 minutes in and things ramp up. You’ll need to pay attention to the entire screen, since if you miss one little thing it’s over. One worry I had coming from the iPhone version to the DSi is the obvious difference in screen space; this isn’t a problem, though, as the game is still around the same difficulty as the iPhone version, with nothing having been made easier in game from what we can tell. Having the stylus to control planes is less cumbersome than fingers, but also means it can block your view sometimes.
What makes Flight Control stand out, though, has to be its presentation; everything from the graphics to the limited soundtrack screams the 50s. The game’s menus and in-game art featuring flight attendant look very pin-up. The design is deliberately simple and doesn’t suffer because of it.
Multiplayer is for two players and both players play on the same field. You’ll both have your airport on each screen and have to work together to land as many planes as possible. There is no singlecard play, so you’ll both need to have purchased it from the DSiWare Shop. The game is missing one feature from the iPhone version, though, which was the leaderboards functionality. Sadly, you’ll have to limit your bragging to manually telling people how good you are at the game; Twitter or Facebook integration would have been nice.
The only real sore point of the whole conversion is the price. It’s not that the game is overly expensive, but at 500 ($7.50AU) points compared to $1.29AU on the iPhone there is a marked difference in cost, and more noteworthy with leaderboards missing, although that is made up somewhat with the exclusive stage. Perhaps Firemint have boxed themselves in with pricing the game so low on the iPhone, the game is certainly worth more than $1.29. Nevertheless, the DSiWare version does feature all the updates and additions the game has received since its original release.
Flight Control is brilliant in its simplicity, and the ’just one more time’ addictiveness means you’ll be coming back to it over and over.