Flight Control

Windows Phone 8 users received an awesome new Xbox release this week: Order & Chaos Online, officially ending the recent release drought. But Windows Phone 7 gamers still need stuff to play, and some people just want games on the cheap. Namco Bandai and Firemint’s Flight Control will have to do, as it makes its second appearance as the Xbox Red Stripe Deal this week. Not the most exciting game, but the sale price of a dollar is fair!

In non-Xbox Red Stripe Deal territory, Sketch Taxi is a fun old school game on sale for a dollar as well. The GPS Voice Navigation app rings up at $3.49. Details and store links after the break.

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Flight Control Review: The seed of proliferation

Let’s face it, all the cool Windows Phone gamer kids are playing Skulls of the Shogun right now, but we can’t review that game until we’ve spent a little more time with it. Instead, we'll take a look at a classic title. Some people felt left out with last week’s Flight Control: Rocket review since that fine game is a Nokia exclusive. As such, it’s high time for our review of the original Flight Control, a game that all Windows Phone 7 and 8 owners can play. Flight Control comes from developer Firemint (now known as Firemonkeys) and Namco Bandai games.

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The original Flight Control from Australian developer Firemint created the line drawing genre. It plays to smartphones’ strengths, allowing players to craft flight paths for incoming aircraft by drawing smooth lines on the touch screen. But the gameplay boils down to endless score runs, limiting its appeal to goal-oriented gamers.

Thankfully Firemint and EA took that consideration to heart when developing their sequel Flight Control Rocket (aka FC Rocket). It improves on the original game in pretty much every way, although the new focus on grinding goes a little too far. Still, FC Rocket is my pick for the most addictive Nokia exclusive Xbox Windows Phone game yet.

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For a while there it looked like we might not get a Deal of the Week this time around. Thankfully, the clouds finally cleared away and Flight Control emerged from the storm of Marketplace delays. It’s now on sale for $1.99, down from the regular price of $2.99.

Flight Control is the progenitor of the line-drawing genre of casual games. Created in 2009 by Australia-based Firemint (now owned by EA), it became an instant sales phenomenon. The Windows Phone version lags behind the iOS and other versions in terms of features (no HD makeover and only six maps here), but remains a fun and addicting title.

Achievement hunters, prepare for lots of grinding to reach 10,000 planes landed. I’m about 7,000 short on that one… Then again, Harbor Master, another developer’s nautical take on the same concept, has even more grueling Achievements.

Flight Control is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Pick it up here on the Marketplace.

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Harbor Master - Review

Touch-screen gaming has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ve all played games like Earthworm Jim that try to replicate traditional console controls on the touch screen with limited success. But building a game around the advantages of a touch screen can produce wonderful results and even new genres. Such was the case with Firemint’s Flight Control – the first line drawing game. It played like nothing else and sold like crazy on numerous platforms, including Windows Phone. Every good idea can be improved upon, as developer Imangi shows with Harbor Master. Its nautical theme and new mechanics will keep Flight Control fans and new players alike enthralled for quite some time.

Chart a course past the break for our full review.

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Harbor Master - Exclusive preview

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Harbor Master was probably coming to Xbox Live on April 13. Developer Imangi Studios recently confirmed that release date is correct, so we thought it would be a good time to bring you a full preview of the game.

Firemint’s Flight Control is a well-known line-drawing game. The game presents players with a simple 2D overhead map with two or more runways and helicopter landing pads. Planes and helicopters enter the screen randomly and the player must direct them to the appropriate runway/landing pad by drawing pathways. Vehicles are color coded and must be sent to the same colored destination. They also vary in size and speed, but they’re all worth one point each when landed. As an aircraft lands, it disappears and the player is free to worry about other oncoming planes. It’s a simple formula that becomes more challenging as the number of incoming planes increases.

Imangi Studios saw an opportunity to improve on the line-drawing formula with their own title, Harbor Master. At first glance it looks similar to Flight Control, but Imangi has made a lot of tweaks that result in a different and more interesting game.

Right from the start, Harbor Master’s focus on boats instead of planes changes the line-drawing experience. Each map has land forms and structures that boats must navigate around in order to dock. Thus maps require unique strategies as players create shipping lanes based around map’s shapes.

Steer past the jump for our full preview with plenty of screenshots and exclusive details straight from the developer...

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We reviewed Flight Control for Windows Mobile not too long ago and found it to be an entertaining, addictive gaming app. Namco's Flight Control has made the transition to Windows Phone 7 and is just as entertaining and as addictive. If anything, the capacitive touch screen has improved game play.

Flight Contol has been well received on other platforms such as the iPhone and to see how well the aplication transitioned to Windows Phone 7, just ease on past the break.

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Namco Games has released the popular game Flight Control for Windows Phone.

Flight Control has players guide planes, jets and helicopters safely to their landing zones. Flight Control is easy to play—just select an aircraft and direct it to its landing zone. Flight Control has five different airfields and ten types of aircraft.  As time passes, more aircraft start to fill the friendly skies, making Flight Control a game of strategy. 

Flight Control is available over at Namco's website for $5.99. Currently it's only available for T-Mobile and AT&T customers (game billed through your wireless account) and slowly but surely Namco is populating the list of compatible devices.  If you have trouble accessing the download link that is sent to your phone from Namco, check for the app in your wireless provider's app store/mall.

We hope to get a review up on Flight Control shortly but in the meantime, check out what our friends over at TiPb thinks of this gaming app.

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