Back in 2011 a little game called Flight Control shot up the App Store charts for iPad. It involved controlling planes in a busy sky and avoiding collisions. Land It! seems a little late to the party in this respect, but the Xbox One indie game from Nemesys Games, has a lot going for it.
Land It! is all about controlled panic, but you won’t realise this straight away. The tutorial eases you in with a few simple tasks and a single plane to land, then slowly holds your hand with multiple planes. Then, like a father teaching a child to ride a bike, it lets go without you looking and you crash straight into the nearest cliff face.
It won’t be completely your fault, of course. The controls take a lot of getting used to when you’re juggling multiple vehicles and there are 2 more just waiting to pop on to the map, with a timer counting down to their arrival (usually directly in the flight path of another plane you’ve set on course for the airport or the edge of the screen). The right stick flips between planes in a seemingly random order (most likely on the positioning of the stick, but I’ve yet to believe that theory), which can be a slight issue when one plane is heading for a cliff and another is about to go off the screen in the wrong place.
Even when you do get the controls sussed out, the game throws a lot of different objectives your way; landing and taking off with more planes queued up for the runway, some planes need to be sent off screen, avoid no fly zones etc. Thankfully they’re all easy to understand, even though they’re still difficult to master. The game is a juggling act requiring forward thought and quick reactions.
Graphically, Land It! doesn’t really do anything new. The scenery is nice enough and the planes are easy to see and don’t get lost in the background but it’s safe to say than the game is not exactly pushing the Xbox One’s processing to any sort of limits. Music is a looped piece that sounds like it’s come straight from a mobile game, as well and the effects are fine but not outstanding.
But let’s put this in perspective; this game is a typical Indie title for a decent price that provides some hair raising gameplay and often a few groans as yet another flight plan ends in disaster. It won’t keep you up all night but it’s certainly a pleasant distraction from the usual shooters, fighting and driving games. If you fancy yourself as an air traffic controller or just miss games like Flight Control, it’s well worth a download.