If you're a long-time Flight Control player like I am, the first few games of Flight Control Rocket can be a little disorientating.

Gone is the pure simplicity of the original iOS line-drawing hit, and in its place are a wide variety of different craft types, coins that seem to make a mockery of the high score chart, and even some RPG levelling-up on the side.

While the base gameplay is still about the management of the various aircraft (or in this case, spacecraft) as they fly in to land, there are a fair amount of additional issues for you to concern yourself with if you want to post those really high scores.

Don't resort to shelling out for the IAPs, though, or paying your way to a higher score - follow our hints, tips, and spaceship guide for Flight Control Rocket and you should be directing space traffic like a pro in no time at all.

General scoring tips - Infinity


The presence of multipliers this time around adds a lot more strategy to the base gameplay, and a bit more thought to the landing process.

In the initially unlocked game mode Infinity, the key to netting high scores is ensuring that the same colour ships land one after the other, while keeping other coloured ships floating harmlessly about in space.

The easiest colours for netting these high multipliers are the yellow ships, followed by the swarms of green craft (see the ship section for more details).

It's also worth paying attention to the general patterns that you'll encounter during a game. If the sides of the screen fill with green ships, for instance, it's a wise idea to throw away your current multiplier and work with green until the storm passes.

Red is the best colour to quickly clear from the screen should it all get a little too close for comfort - thanks to the generally harmless nature of its ships - so try and keep these floating around as get-out-of-jail cards (especially the large, fast ships).

Above all else, don't risk a crash for the sake of an extra few notches on the multiplier - it's not worth it.

General scoring tips - Odyssey

Odyssey mode switches up the scoring in a subtle, but important, fashion. Rather than focusing on consecutive colours, the multiplier bonus in Odyssey is all about time between landings.

This means your main aim will be to get all ships on screen as close to the landing bays as possible and then land them all at once (without crashing, natch). You have about one second between landings to increase the multiplier, and any colour counts.

Between rounds, there's also a special bonus mode that automatically disables any collision detection and slowdown.

Should I continue my game?

Once all three of your lives are gone in Flight Control Rocket, the game will offer you the chance of picking up from where you left off for a fee (paid for with in-game currency). The closer you were to your initial high score at death, the greater the cost.

In the short term, this extra go can really boost your total score, putting you well above the level you would normally reach and almost certainly annoying your leaderboard friends in the process.

However, it's worth noting that the cost of an extra go really adds up, and you're basically throwing away the chance of purchasing far more useful droids in the future unless you resort to IAPs (as your cash flow is severely impacted).

You'll also find that while you do get three more lives, this doesn't mean you're going to get significantly further in the game - the difficulty picks up from where it left off, too, remember.

Unlock and energy strategy (or "Why you really don't need to buy anything")

Two other divisive additions to the series are the RPG-like levelling of helper droids and the weird "energy" system they use.

Every time you finish a round, your score is divided by ten and added to the XP of the bots you used during that game.

Each time they hit a certain amount of XP, they increase a level, making them more effective and increasing their total battery power by one.

First off, while the additional points and coins bonuses are a nice thing to have (and an extra life is very nice, indeed), after you've levelled-up the bots a few times, running out of energy should be of little concern.

The rate of level increase at the start, meanwhile, is fast enough for you to not really have to bother about energy crystals - you might as well just aim for a higher score and buy the expensive bots rather than pump a large amount of cash into increasing the rate.

Ship types

Knowing how to use and safely land each ship type is key to victory in Flight Control Rocket.

Master each of the types, and you'll be spitting out scores that better those from the high-spending IAP players quicker than you can say 'pwned'.

Red Small

Pretty much the standard ship in the game. Gets marginally faster once it's locked onto a landing bay, but otherwise harmless.

Red Large

Fast moving when it's floating around in space, and super-fast when it's locked onto a docking bay.

Try and get these bad boys in to land first before you start dragging other red types around.

Red Splitter

Moderate speed, no increase when locked on. Actually, two ships coupling with each other, so it's best to keep these together until you absolutely have to split them (by tapping).

Remember that they split off at the same speed and relative angle, so make sure you add a bit more curve to one of the landing routes or they'll crash at the mouth.

Also note that you can't instantly plot a path after they split, so try not to do it as they're about to collide.

Yellow Small

Moderate speed and only slightly increases when it's locked onto a landing bay. Small yellow ships become a pain to manage when there are snakes on the screen.

Try and time them to land in between the other yellow types, or just get rid of them quickly if you have time to spare.

Yellow Snake

Moderate speed that doesn't increase when locked onto a landing bay. Snakes are some of the nastiest ships in the game (and the highest scoring), as you're never quite sure how long they are when they enter the screen.

Avoid sharp bends and try to get each train to follow on from another's flight path to avoid collisions. If you're having real trouble, buy the Short Snakes droid (your score will suffer as a result, however).

Yellow Dropper

Hateful ship. Slow-moving, no boost when locked, but drops little un-moving drones from behind once you start to manually direct it.

These things are an absolute pain and can quickly turn a safe-looking screen into a minefield of tiny yellow drones.

Try not to direct them unless you're going to land, and remember that the drones move slightly faster than the dropship itself (so don't start moving them until it's almost landed, if possible).

Green Small

Standard ship for the greens. Slight boost when locked on, otherwise harmless.

Green Swarm

Slightly-above-average speed and a small boost when locked on, Swarms are mostly characterised by their numbers, rather than their individual features.

If you see one of these appear, chances are a whole host of Swarms are about to get in on the action.

One thing to note, mind, is that it's easier to land these than it is to land a normal ship. Just drag them all in to dock at once and let the collision slowdown help you out.

Don't do that with the Hardcore bot equipped, however, as they'll, predictably, crash.

Green Shooter

Moderate pace with no speed boost, but any manual alteration to their course will start firing out tiny green craft.

Shooters are lovely combo-producing ships that can get out of hand very quickly should you not direct them immediately to dock.

Don't - whatever you do - try to manually park these on the screen.

Carrier

Carriers stop by from time to time, filled to the brim with lovely bonus points.

If you see a carrier arrive when you still have multiple colours of ships on screen, make sure you clear the one corresponding to the carrier's cargo before unloading (to get a little leg up on the combo multiplier).

Starsurge

Odyssey's version of the carrier, Starsurges are small bonus ships with no collision warning indicators, which will not cause a loss of life if they crash.

No real tactics with these little guys, other than to say not to overdo the swiping. It's very easy to crash them at the mouth of the docking bay if you don't pause between craft.