Did you ever play flight simulators on your Amiga, or more lately on your PC? There’s something quite tranquil about flying around in an F16 fighter jet, checking the views from your cockpit and thrusting the afterburner with the sound up high. Consoles such as Playstation and Xbox have never really matched the gaming experience of PC flight simulators, they are too quick to throw you into the action. Dog fighting is cool, but sometimes you just want to enjoy a little realism, like landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier or air base. F18 Carrier Landing is much more reminiscent of my PC flight sim playing days. You’ll probably want to play this on your Android tablet, like I do. I’m not sure a 4 or 5 inch screen will really do it justice.
F18 Carrier Landing, as the title suggests, involves in-flight scenarios, mainly surrounding landing and take-off. There a number of planes to choose from, such as the F18 Super Hornet, F14 Super Tomcat (think Top Gun), and some heftier numbers such as the Grumman C-2 Greyhound and A-6 Intruder. Each plane offers a different flying experience and some excellent variation in cockpit views. The great thing about this app, while it isn’t free, it does send through regular updates. Just recently I noticed two new planes had been added, much to my excitement!
So, once you’ve chosen your preferred plane and have given the tutorials a whirl, there are a number of scenarios to complete. Choose from Air Carrier Landing, Air Carrier Takeoff, Airbase landing and takeoff, in-flight refuel or even attempt a 6 task mission which throws in a combo of these. There are two environments to fly over/through, a canyon setting with mountains and a large bridge, and a forest setting – which is largely flat and green. Adding to the realism, you can adjust the weather conditions for each scenario. For the more daring, I challenge you to an aircraft carrier landing at night, through fog and heavy winds!
There are some really cool in-flight views and controls. Learning the game isn’t as difficult as perhaps on a PC version, but then again, there are less controls and inputs on a phone/tablet. Sound effects are really cool, so make sure you whack the volume up. You can also set collaboration, so which ever angle you are sat, you can play the game without continuously plummeting towards the ground!
What’s the game lacking? Alright, you win. After a while it could do with a little more action, perhaps a dog fight here and there. Fortunately, Rortors have developed another version of the game called Air Navy Fighters, which is more focused on missile attacks and evading incoming threats from the ground.