That bitter taste is almost certainly the involvement of Firemint’s new boss, EA. To be blunt: there is microtransactions in this game, and I don’t like that. See, a lot of Flight Control Rockets is locked away at the start, and only by earning virtual coins can 80 per cent of the game become accessible. That wouldn’t be so much a problem if there wasn’t some serious grinding required to get enough virtual cash to buy this stuff; it can be very, very virtually expensive.
The reason why becomes obvious when players tap on an innocuously little “shop” icon on the front screen. Why, you can exchange real money for plenty of the virtual cash! That saves grinding, let’s do it!
The game itself has a few little tweaks too. It plays exactly the same – direct a coloured spaceship to a runway by touching it then drawing a line to the right runway – and indeed the default level of the game is exactly the same as the original Flight Control level, just with a different coat of paint. What is different is the variety of the spaceships. There’s the standard rockets, but there’s also ships that split in two, ships that leave behind miniships (that also need to be landed), and strings of ships that follow the leader like a conga( line. The action in Flight Control Rockets ratchets up quickly and generally speaking this is a far faster game than Firemint’s previous effort.
All in all, Flight Control Rockets is more of a game. There’s robots to collect, stuff to unlock, and a far greater emphasis on getting high scores with the introduction of score multipliers for landing ships of the same colour one after the other.
The thing is I’m not sure Flight Control fans wanted a game that is more of a game. Flight Control did so well because it was easy to pick up and play, and easy to put down. It was a commitment-free experience that never left people thinking they needed to work to finish it. And yet Flight Control Rockets demands players do just that.
Time will tell if this was the right direction to take, but I just can’t see this hitting the same level of mass popularity as the original Flight Control.
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