UPDATE October 20th, 2009: The tips and cheats evolved here are working. My high score landing at the Beach airport is 176 and I’m now a Captain. Please share your own winning techniques in the comments.
UPDATE June 3rd, 2009: Fight Control update 1.2 is out today, on iTunes! There are new fields, including an aircraft carrier, to land on and new craft to land, some on water! Plus you can submit your high scores.
An iPhone game has kept me company these past few days as I nurse an allergy that turned into a cold. It’s Firemint’s Flight Control. A retro illustrated flight controller game, easy to play but logarythmically difficult as time passes and more aircraft come in to land. It’s 99c. No question. Buy it!
There are four types of aircraft traveling at different speeds which need to be landed at three different runways or ports. Helicopters to the heliport, small craft to the short landing strip and jets and jumbos to the longer runway. To control the game you simply drag a path, using your finger, from the craft to the destination runway. Once the craft accepts the approach it’ll turn white and be on auto pilot to land. It appears to require real ATC skills: Knowing which aircraft is closer to a specific point, recognizing overtakes and sequencing.
Easy enough? Sure. Until you run out of air space trying to keep all the craft out of each others way. It’s addictive.
Here follow a few tips and cheats …
- Keep the sound on, it helps.
- Bring your aircraft in, away from the edges, as soon as possible so that new craft entering the window don’t quickly prang into craft already on approach.
- Plot the shortest route to landing.
- Have craft of the same size and speed follow each other in on the same flight pattern. Sequence your craft methodically and they’ll all fly in on auto pilot.
- Land faster craft first whenever possible and watch for overtakes.
- Avoid fouling the touchdown areas of each port and runway.
- Constantly redirect craft in on shorter paths when you find an opportunity.
- Watch for collisions.
- You can cross over the heliport (when there are no helicopters about to land.
- You can fly over runways — just avoid the striped touchdown area by small margin.
- Learn how closely you can pass and follow aircraft without crashing.
- You can straight line a landing, no need to curve in.
- You can make a hair-pin turn into a landing — just make sure you cross the touchdown lines in the right direction. It’s a cheat, but it works! Just remember to turn in no less that the diameter of a Jumbo jet — so that you won’t crash up against another craft just landing.
- Planes will do 180 degree turns on command, so use this cheat to avoid collisions.
- To avoid a collision turn the faster moving craft away.
- Zig zag faster craft behind a slower moving plane — to slow them down — if you’re committed to landing the slower one first. Remember you can do 180 degree turns, so you can zig zag over a straight line perpendicular to the landing path. The width and number of zig zags determine the delay. You can almost hang a jumbo in the sky for few seconds using this trick!
- Practice at double-speed to a score of above 50 to build up the skills needed to work in the 100s at single-speed.