Game Reviews

Flight Control

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Flight Control

Australian developer Firemint must be reassured to know that one of the first titles most Windows Phone 7 owners will instantly recognise, and more than likely buy, is Flight Control.

As well as being the kind of game anyone can master (at least to some degree) in a matter of seconds, it's also one that's incredibly difficult to screw up from a development perspective – even though Flight Control on Microsoft's new platform doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the table, there's a certain sense of stability that comes as a result.

Runway runaway

Indeed, everything that was present in the original Flight Control iPhone release has made the leap here. Just as before, you guide all forms of aircraft in to a collection of runways and a helipad, the idea being to draw lines on the screen to land both planes and helicopters in their respective areas.

Knowing just where to bring each craft in is a question of colour: jets heading for the large, pink runway are coloured accordingly, while smaller planes need to be directed towards the yellow runway and helicopters landed on the blue helipad.

It's a setup that remains throughout. The only thing that stops you from landing planes until kingdom come is the growing threat of them slamming straight into each other.

Planes heading for a collision flash red to alert you to the impending disaster. This is when a quick re-routing out of trouble is called for. The influx of aircraft, which increases as you play, makes each skin-of-the-teeth getaway less likely than the last.

History repeating

All that, of course, is just as Flight Control was pre-Windows Phone 7, and it's possible that any former iPhone users will be disappointed to discover that Namco's port is, in the main, just that – a straight conversion of the original.

The only notable addition comes in the form of an extra coastal level, featuring – for the first time – obstacles out of your control. Patrolling the stage are airships that, like the planes and helicopters themselves, have to be avoided at all costs.

Finding fault with what's on offer here is difficult. The only differences between the two versions are essentially hardware based – the HTC HD7 handset we reviewed Flight Control on arguably comes with a slightly more slippery screen than iPhone, for instance.

However, to its credit, it's also a larger device, making Flight Control – and, indeed, any game – a more relaxing experience.

Delayed flight

The only software-based difference appears to be a slight slowdown when it comes to helicopter animations. This makes absolutely no difference in play, of course, but next to the iPhone version it's possible to notice the blades spinning around at a slightly slower rate than on the original version.

If – as is likely – such faults aren't all too much of an issue for you, then you'll be entirely satisfied with Flight Control's latest venture.

Indeed, it's to Firemint's credit that, despite all the games that have come and gone since its debut a year and a half ago, Flight Control manages to soar to the exact same heights in its fresh form on Windows Phone 7 as it managed during its inaugural flight on iPhone.

Flight Control

An oh-so-familiar flight, Flight Control on Windows Phone 7 is just as addictive as it was on iPhone