Crispy Gamer

Casual Fridays: Flight Control

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The game I'd really like to feature in Casual Fridays is Air Traffic Chaos, one of my favorite Nintendo DS games. But Air Traffic Chaos is not casual. Can you guess what it is? That's right, laid-back. Wait, no, that's wrong. What a terrible guess. Air Traffic Chaos is chaotic.

Flight Control is not. At least, not at the beginning. You're perched miles above a runway. A little prop plane drifts into view. Your hand is the Hand of God. When you reach down and draw a path with your finger, the plane follows that path. If the disgusting trail of finger grease that you traced out on the screen happens to end in a runway, the plane lands on the runway. So you have pointed, so it shall be done.

Flight Control

And just in time, because look out God, here comes another plane! It's a jet. It's a little faster than the prop plane. And right behind it is a jumbo jet. It is even speedier, and bigger (hence "jumbo"). So you're drawing and smearing flight paths, trying to keep the planes from smashing into each other because this is what good deities do.

Here's the thing, though. You're not a deity. I mean, look at yourself. With your glossy phone, or maybe your glossy iPod because you couldn't afford the glossy phone, comparing yourself to a God! I guess all those whiny, obnoxious, unloved-by-their-mothers anti-Mac trolls were right about you Apple people. You are arrogant. Flight Control is the game that pierces your ego. Because it convinces you that you are capable of anything. Teases you with omnipotence, every single time. Then it brings the jumbo jets.

Flight Control

Maybe you can keep up for a while, but those 747s and A380s keep coming. Sooner or later, it happens. Your attention drifts, your finger slips. A couple of planes crash into each other. The screen says "Congratulations!" but you know that behind the curtain, there are fire trucks being called to the scene, loved ones are arriving at the airport in tears, and Katie Couric is interviewing the captain of your plane because he managed to save everyone on board even though you screwed up. "Did you pray?" she asks the national hero. "What good would that do?" he says. "Our God is apparently a bumbling, fat-fingered moron."

Will you tolerate such insolence? Certainly not. So you play again.

Like a lot of games on the iPhone, I have trouble figuring out whether Flight Control is good even though I play it a lot. I had the same problem with Drop7, which I also played to death on the subway. I concluded that Drop7 was great if ultimately flawed. The jury's still out for me on Flight Control. Give it a spin and let me know what you think. And may heaven have mercy on your self-worshiping soul.*

Flight Control

* Wait, only one footnote? Yes, because this Casual Friday, I'm moving to a new apartment, so I'm too drained for this feature's usual flights of fancy. See, I wasn't even trying to make a dumb "flight" pun there. Any other week, that would have been painfully intentional. Side note: I have noticed that each time I move, I get a little more domestic. I guess immersing yourself in considerations of house and home will do that. The other day, I was watching television with my wife, and I picked up my water glass, and I spoke a sentence that I never expected to utter in my entire life. I said, "This glass is spotless -- did we switch to a new dishwashing liquid?" Now I understand how people like me end up deciding to have children. The instinct creeps up on them. I am terrified.