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Brazen Aviation: Air Control

Gonna need a better airplane

Jazzpunk may have hit a few bum notes but that was probably inevitable given just how freely and energetically it riffed and jammed. Walking down a beach, you might find yourself unexpectedly lobbing pizza at unsuspecting turtles, and if that doesn't tickle your fancy, a host of other pop culture references and geeky puns are scattered around the surf and the sand. Like the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker films that it brought to mind, Jazzpunk threw everything at the wall, and smirked at the things that failed to stick as well as those that did. Air Control's new Steam trailer (it's already available on Desura) suggests that it might be the Airplane! of gaming meta comedy. It's a flight simulator with zombies, knights and a jaunty soundtrack.

Cunningly, I've switched out the new Steam trailer for an earlier 'gameplay' trailer. The actual process of playing looks almost identical - on the ground, target burning or broken parts and click to fix them. Wandering through the cabin, I think the player basically has to tidy up to keep passengers happy. As a terrorist or air marshal, shoot at people while traversing the complex level design of a long metal tube. I'm not entirely sure that there's any simulation of flight at all.

See the picture at the top, with the surgeons and the internal organs? They look like the same static models as the normal passengers and the objects littering the aisles appear to have the same functionality. I haven't played it myself but early versions haven't been kindly received on Desura and the game sounds like a poorly crafted simulator with some wacky reskins rather than a carefully crafted comedy.

Here's how the game introduces itself on Steam:

Air Control is the most realistic plane simulator out there!

With this game, we give you more freedom and go further into the stages of how a flight is both prepared for and executed than any other flight simulator out there! We aren't just covering the cockpit; we’re covering every single step of the process!

The first sentence isn't true but perhaps the exclamation point means that we're supposed to laugh at the lie? Reminds me a little of the page for Into The Dark: Ultimate Trash Edition which brags about the game's apparent technical problems and abysmal voice acting. It's a trashy B movie experience so it's good that it's bad!

Notice the punctuation.

It's possible that Air Control has some clever tricks tucked between the miniature bottles of gin in its catering trolley but the Desura reviews don't even recognise that it's supposed to be funny. Either they've spectacularly missed the point or Air Control is attempting to make a virtue of its flaws by amping up the zaniness. It's not a terrible business plan, I guess.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.