May 15, 2013
Airplane simulations are always fun. They give folks like me who can’t fly aircraft an opportunity to, well, pretend to fly aircraft.
MAYDAY! Emergency Landing is cool, in that it ups the adventure quotient by not making me just a pilot, but one that has the ability to be heroic. In my own mind at least.
I liked the graphics that developer put together. Realistic coloring with defined shading made the cockpit out scenery look realistic. The screen was well used, with gauges and flight data spaced out well. The different environments and landing areas were interestingly crafted.
The controls were pretty nice. As I noted, I am not a pilot, but I assume that the beeping and flashing consoles mimicked the sounds and lights I’d expect. The accelerometer was the big piece here, with an onscreen throttle button as a permanent fixture. I liked how the flaps and landing gear buttons popped up at appropriate time, as did the buttons for braking and reversing thrust. They worked well with the onscreen gauges mentioned earlier.
The gameplay was direct; after a super-quick tutorial, I was off to the landing. There were mission-based levels, with plenty of varied conditions. On starting a landing sequence, i started in the air, already in descent towards a landing strip within view. Virtual arrows and green circles denoted the flight path, and I learned very quickly that it was a good idea to keep within the circles. I had an airspeed indicator to the right, and an altitude indicator to the left. Both glowed green when the recommended parameters were adhered to. They transformed to ominous shades of red when I was in danger; additionally, there was text and numerical values that popped up below… stuff like “faster!”. In addition, there was a helpful flight attendant that continually gave hints. These visual cues were well thought out in my opinion.
Bad landings ended up in catastrophe and opportunities to retry. Successful landings garnered a score based on lack of injuries and loss of passengers.
It’s a great game, despite the in-app purchasing system that allowed me to open up part or all of the game that could make some balk. So good, that I actually want to fly planes all the time now.
On my handheld, that is.