Game Reviews

Absolute RC Plane Simulator

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Absolute RC Plane Simulator

A couple of years back, a particularly trusting friend let me fly his rather expensive radio controlled (RC) plane.

The sense of responsibility I felt for the miniscule aircraft as it circled the field was enormous, and when it crashed into a tree my guilt was as crushing as the impact on its plastic frame.

Somehow, Absolute RC Plane Simulator manages to evoke none of these emotions. The flight modelling is acceptable, but the tacked-on background photos, immersion-breaking bugs, and lack of any real entertainment mean it never really takes off.

Driving you loopy

There are four distinct planes to pick from based on flying skill (from the trainee-friendly AT-6 Apprentice to the Advanced A-10 Warthog) and it's clear that nailing their design was the developer's main priority.

With four alternative control methods to give you maximum control over the throttle, elevator, rudder, and ailerons of your craft, mastering the basics of flying an RC craft just takes a little practice.

Sadly, it's the rest of the game that really makes you question the content-to-price ratio.

From a stretched, rather dingy coloured menu, you pick your aircraft and then one of a trio of supposedly different fields to fly around. In reality, though, you're always flying around the same circle of barely rendered grass with a panoramic, upscaled photo of the location taped around the edges.

It makes for some moderately pretty screenshots, yet never feels remotely like you're soaring across the greenery of Osage Park, California, or Tangamanga, Mexico.

And, to bring you down to earth further, crashing into the ground or trying to land often sees you fly through the floor and into either an abstract part of the landscape or - worse - a black void of nothingness.

Such basic clipping issues are pretty unforgiveable considering how small the area you can fly around actually is. We want scenery that needs to be dodged, or bridges to swoop under - not cars parked behind an unreachable fence.

Drop the pilot

You can test all of Absolute RC Plane Simulator's content in under ten minutes, and after that the only thing to do is take a few lacklustre spins around a field.

With no challenges, missions, or tangible reward beyond not hitting the ground (or flying through it), this is as much value for money as an all-inclusive holiday to Scarborough.

Android version reviewed.

Absolute RC Plane Simulator

While the flying is well modelled, the limited content, mostly grim graphics, and glaring glitches mean this game should stay in the hangar
Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo