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Flight Control (DSiWare) Review

Review for Flight Control on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Released on iPhone only a year ago, in March 2009, Flight Control from Australian developer Firemint has gone on to be downloaded by more than two million owners eager to get in on the simple-yet-addictive action provided by the strategy title. Now a new edition has been created for the Nintendo DSiWare download service, incorporating all the best features from the original and adding in some new touches. Does Flight Control deserve the same level of success on DSiWare as it has previously achieved?

Have you ever dreamed of being an air traffic controller? No? Well, whether you have or not is rather inconsequential anyway since Flight Control takes the concept, strips away all the complexities involved and simplifies it to the point where players are left with the task of drawing flight paths on the touch-screen in order to safely land red jets, yellow planes or blue helicopters, all onto their appropriately coloured runways or helipads. Sounds really basic, right? Well, in some ways it is, yet the actions starts to heat up very quickly to the point where you feel like more eyes and hands are required to keep up with all the on-screen movements!

Upon starting one of the maps offered, matters remain calm at first, with an exclamation mark appearing at the edge of the screen, accompanied by a warning noise, to indicate that an aircraft is about to enter your field of vision from that designated spot. Once in your airspace, correctly guiding it becomes your direct responsibility. This is done by tapping on the plane or helicopter to highlight it, then drawing a route around the sky and finally ending by touching against the appropriate end of the runway. Whilst waiting for landing to occur, another flight will enter into the mix, sometimes heading on a collision course with the other plane slowly following the path you gave it. When coming dangerously close to each other, a circle flashes around the aircraft and a different warning sound is given to launch the player into action, tapping once more on one of the aircraft to temporarily re-direct it out of harm’s way. Should you feel brave enough, there is a 'fast-forward' button to speed up play, bringing more planes into the mix, faster. Turning it off again merely takes another tap of the same icon.

Screenshot for Flight Control on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

There are five maps on offer: Classic, Beach, Carrier, Outback, and the new DSi-exclusive, Windy. The iPhone edition of Flight Control has seen various revisions and is currently up to Version 1.5, so this DSiWare release is somewhat of a ‘best of,’ giving Nintendo owners a taste of what mobile phone owners have been enjoying in their masses for the past year. However, there is one key aspect missing from the strategic action puzzler -- online. You see, Flight Control is the sort of game where achieving a high score is the main objective, with online leader boards actually being offered in the Apple download iteration. However, Firemint has attempted to appease gamers with the inclusion of the Windy map instead.

Whilst Classic, Beach and Carrier basically have the player navigating the various aircraft around, and Outback introduces an emergency plane that takes priority and cannot be controlled (meaning you must get everything else out of its designated flight path), Windy introduces a brand new approach, bringing an even more strategic element to proceedings than before. This particular airfield is set in snowy conditions, with prevailing winds determining where planes can be landed. Therefore, players are at the mercy of the on-field windsock, with it revealing the direction of wind, and, thusly, blocking or opening certain runways, definitely adding extra challenge into the mix! There is also the ability to play the maps in a two-player mode, with friends able to direct planes off their screen and onto the screen of another DSi system, with co-operative play encouraged to obtain the highest scores possible. However, causing mayhem by directing all traffic towards the other DS is also a highly amusing option...

Screenshot for Flight Control on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Simple use of the touch-screen makes controlling the direction of planes and helicopters extremely ease.


Extremely basic visuals, but the nature of the game really does not call for flashy, over-the-top graphics.


Just the one old fashioned tune that plays through any stage until completion, and then is followed by silence, with only a couple of sound effects as aircraft fly around.


Five maps, a two-player option and the addictive nature of beating high scores give players plenty to do, but an online leader board is a vital omission for such a game.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Flight Control is a great example of delivering a simple-yet-addictive idea in the perfect way at the ideal price. The DSiWare just received yet another high quality, low-priced, must-have release. Hopefully Firemint's game will be shown enough support to spur on further-developed sequels.

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

This was doing quite well for itself for a few weeks after its initial release...but it appears to have completely dropped off the radar!

Have many people at Cubed3 played it? KMcD and oroblram have it, according the Game Page - what are your thoughts on it?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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