Youâ€™ve heard it before but mobile gaming is the big new thing. These games usually take the form of small, highly addictive puzzlers. In 2009, Firemint, an Australian company, made a small fortune from a game just like this, called Flight Control. After a few updates, including an HD version for iPads, Firemint have released Flight Control Rocket.
The basic gameplay is the same as it has always been. You direct various spaceships to land on one of the various motherships flying through space. Itâ€™s pretty simple: direct the red ships to the red landing strip; yellow to the yellow strip; and the green ones to the green landing disc. So far, itâ€™s pretty much just Flight Control in space. Which is still fun, but nothing special enough for a whole new game, so Rocket adds a bunch of new stuff too.
There are three game modes: Infinite, Odyssey, and Rescue.
Infinite, as the name suggests, lets you play for as long as you can, with endless waves of ships. Odyssey (Space Odyssey, get it?) is played in levels with a set time limit. At each level, the time limit gets longer, meaning you have to survive for longer. In between there are short bonus levels where you can get coins (more on them soon). Rescue requires you to help save floating astronauts by flying over them with a ship of the same colour. It sounds simple, but the last thing you want is more stuff floating about for ships to run into.
Coins are gained by touching random coins that drift onto the screen (but canâ€™t be run into by ships), or by competing bonuses in the Odyssey and Rescue modes. Coins can be used to, surprisingly, buy things like extra motherships and more robots. Wait, robots?
Yes, cute little Disney-esque robots come along to help you in the form of bonuses. Extra points, extra coins, slower ships, faster ships, and so on. And of course robots run on batteries, batteries that run down, so you canâ€™t keep using them (unless you use the coins to buy more batteries).
The other big improvement is in the spaceships themselves. There are a number of special ships that do special things. Some drop extra ships behind them, some launch more ahead, some travel in long snakes, and the little, annoying green swarm all arrive at the same time.
Overall, much like Angry Birds Space, Flight Control Rocket is a great new version of the original game that will keep you addicted and eat up a lot of your spare time, and youâ€™ll be humming the theme tune throughout (and beyond).