The two games, and others like them, take into account different speeds, but little more; they’re like aviation meets connect the dots.
With the new game Approach Control (“APP Control”), I’ve now met my match. It is the best ATC-style game yet.
The iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad game displays, like real ATC, an airport’s runways in green against a black background (don’t download the game for snazzy graphics and muzak). The objective is to direct aircraft to their assigned runways and direct departing aircraft to their assigned departure point on the edge of the screen.
By clicking on a flight (a square–no airplane icons here) you can control heading, speed, and altitude.
Aircraft entering your screen, “airspace”, are descending down to 3,000 feet. You have to direct them to the runway (with the “direct” option, see screen shot above, you can automatically direct the flight to the runway or departure point) and make sure they reach 3,000 feet by the time they start their final approach.
Departing aircraft are cleared up to 3,000 feet, but most have to be at a higher altitude by their departure point (if an aircraft is too high or low, you lose points). Check “Flightplan Altitude” for that appropriate figure. You will also need to adjust speed and heading/direction.
Amongst all of this, you have to keep aircraft apart from each other. You’re permitted a minimum separation of 2.9. If you go under that, the game ends. Thankfully, you can adjust the game’s difficulty.
My only complaint is you cannot zoom in. Since the game incorporates altitude, it would be nice to touch the screen and adjust an overflying aircraft without your finger press bringing up the other aircraft’s settings. Also, I’ve lost the game a few times because two aircraft got close to each other and I could not adjust their flightpaths before they got even closer.
(I like how the game leaves you with a guilt-free conscious: you lose when you break minimum separation, not when aircraft collide like in Flight Control and Airline Conqueror.)
No, the game is not perfect: Continental flight 68 approaching LHR’s 27R at 5600 feet is listed as being operated by a Boeing 737. But the aircraft type and flight number is only a detail that does not affect game play.
Approach Control has a free “lite” version that lets you select between JFK and LHR, while the full and paid version gives you more airports. The lite version is nice as it (so far) does not limit game time or display pesky ads.