Flight Control HD Released, Is Maddening

Tango Niner, Tango Niner, I think there's an Asda eight miles North of here with a big car park but that's all I got.

Who remembers Pushing Tin, eh? Mel Gibson’s finest role. That long hair, that bit where he threw that big sword at a guy. “You can take our land, but you can never take… our freedom!” Great, great movie.

Well, with the release of Flight Control HD on Steam you can push a bit of tin– wait, that was Braveheart. Nevermind. So, Flight Control HD is a game that tasks you with landing all sorts of planes and helicopters, sketching out little flight paths for them and trying to get them all to their colour-coded landing strips before an inevitable mid-air collision ends your game. I’ve had a play, and it’s pretty good.

It’s also pretty frustrating. Four times out of five the crash that ends your fun will come from an area you weren’t even looking at, leaving you to let out an impotent cry of “What!” and then seethe at the high score screen.

You know, I suspect this game isn’t for me for the extremely anal reason that you can land planes by flying them the wrong way towards a runway’s entrance point. They just immediately pivot 180 degrees and descend.

In fact, the aircraft are all a bit too responsive to your orders, perhaps as a result of this game being birthed for iOS touchpads. With a mouse, it’s all too easy to flick them out of harm’s way.

Still, with an asking price of £2.99 you can’t go too wrong, plus the PC version has a Steam exclusive “stunt” map that has you guiding planes through narrow gaps. Bonus!


  1. mlaskus says:

    I have it on my Hero, fun game.

    • James G says:

      Ahh cool, was about to ask if it was available for Android. Got an Android phone (HTC Wildfire, so not hugely powerful) on its way to me at the moment. Strikes me as something that would get more play on my phone than on PC.

    • mlaskus says:

      I you are looking for games on Android, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Open Tyrian port.
      It’s the good old Tyrian from the PC and it looks and works great on phones. You might want to experiment with the control scheme a little. I prefer an overlayed onscreen keyboard with the Ugly Arrows theme.

      There are also some SNES emulators available. I’ve had a fun time replaying Chrono Trigger on my way to university for a few weeks.

    • Dolphan says:


      I can’t find it with AppBrain, and their site suggests the Android version isn’t out yet.

    • Dolphan says:

      Flight Control – there are a whole bunch of clones which I was a bit wary of – anyone played both and know if Air Control measures up?

    • mlaskus says:

      It’s free, no harm in trying for yourself. I like it well enough. I haven’t played Flight Control though.

    • Mark says:

      Flight Control is out for Android. Although, having played it and Angry Birds, I don’t get what all the fuss is about. I must hate fun, or something.

  2. The Sombrero Kid says:

    it’s games like this that make the games i make so bad, thus i hate them with a burning passion.

  3. Tei says:

    I played a similar game in the C64, very fun :-D

  4. President Weasel says:

    I liked the bit where Danny Glover deliberately stood in the jetwash of a 747 when it was landing, and then stood up and said “I’m getting too old for this shit”.

    Great film.

  5. strange headache says:

    I think Quintin is becoming mad. I like it.

  6. Oak says:

    I don’t find it especially frustrating, myself. Overwhelming, sure, but a crash has yet to elicit more than an “oh well.” Which is strange, since something as innocuous as Peggle has driven me to scream the most horrible, horrible things.

  7. Bassism says:

    Everybody should play this. It’s quite literally one of my favourite games anywhere, ever.
    It’s probably more suited to a handheld touch device, but in lieu of that I’d still heartily recommend picking it up for PC.

    Yes, it gets obscenely difficult, and you always lose by missing some obvious and unfair plane appearing from where there previously was no plane. To me, that’s part of what keeps me coming back for more. And planes doing 180s on the runway also drive me insane, but that’s a pretty easy thing to avoid. But overall it’s a really fun, addictive game that you can play for anywhere from 2-120 minutes at a time.

  8. MappyMousePD says:

    I played this a lot on my iPod until I discovered Harbor Master, which is a tad bit better.

  9. Schaulustiger says:

    Great fun can be had with Flight Control multiplayer on the iPad. It’s easy to understand, addictive and can get quite brutal, especially in splitscreen versus mode (where you can push planes to the opponent’s side).

  10. Bhazor says:

    I see Splendid. I see Stylin. I see Jolly Good.

    But I do not see any Beastin’ so this game isn’t for me.

  11. Arnulf says:

    Maybe…. you meant Air America?

  12. Noterist says:

    On one had I feel really sorry for smart phone developers having to put their games out at 99p – £2.99 on iPhone/Android to compete when they can put out wonderful little games like this that suit the platform so well.

    On the other hand, games of this style/quality are available over the internets for free and I’m loathe to pay for something on PC having been spoilt by flash titles that I never touch again after I’ve had my first giggle.

    Also, I tried to work this into my comment somehow but I’m not sure how it makes me feel… Bloody Good Time was released for only £1 more than this. Why so cheap!?


    Broke (Smith) and Jaded (Jones)

  13. jonfitt says:

    I have had it for my iOS device for yonks and was really hooked at one point.
    I can’t help thinking that little diversion games like this are much more suited to a mobil device that can be played anywhere.

    I often play iPhone games while waiting for my computer to boot.

  14. GoodPatton says:

    The whole frustration bit of dying from something happening off to the side of the screen was also a feature on the iPhone version too. At least the devs are consistent! Still a fun time waster though!

  15. cliffski says:

    soooo… no demo then?

  16. leeder krenon says:

    Had a bit of fun with this here and there. Nice time filler. Wish the music was more varied though.

    I had issues with the planes landing from stupid angles, but at that point I realised I needed to take advantage of this to actually be any good at the game. It’s still nice to make the planes land properly when there is not a whole lot going on.

  17. ShawnClapper says:

    I saw this on steam earlier, but can’t seem to bring myself to buy a game that for no obvious reason throws “HD” in the name.

    • Bassism says:

      The HD is simply a carryover from iOS naming conventions. The HD simply refers to a game that is designed with artwork for the higher-res ipad/retina screens as opposed to the older iphone/ipod screens. So calling it HD implies that it’s the higher res artwork that was ported. It’s also the ‘flagship’ product in the line now, being newer, more technically impressive, and more expensive. Still pretty unnecessary, but I guess that’s marketing. There still is somewhat of a reason for it though.

      As for why such labyrinthine ways of doing things are needed, that’s down to a bunch of idiosyncrasies of the iOS market.

  18. MadTinkerer says:


    Oh dear, I want Portal 2 so much…

  19. nakke says:

    I love it on my iPhone. High score 343 on the default map, though that’s probably nothing compared to people who are actually good at it. Still, it gets pretty hectic at around 100 planes landed.