I want to blog more, and this is something that wouldn’t fit in a tweet, so here it goes. These are my tips and tricks for playing the FlightControl game for iPhone. I recently landed over 500 planes in a single game. That puts me in the 99th percentile of players according to their statistics. So… I know what I’m talking about.
I’m going to assume you know the basics of the game. It’s pretty easy. If you don’t, you should just buy the game and give it a try. It is dead simple to learn, a lot of fun, and addicting.
Try to set up flight paths which won’t collide with anything that already has a flight path as soon as possible. If you aren’t certain whether a collision will happen or not, just keep the plane out of trouble temporarily and make a flight plane later.
Don’t think too long on any one thing. Make a decision quickly, and move on. Always keep a watch on the big picture, especially the edges where new planes come in. Don’t focus on one plane, or group of planes for too long because you won’t see the new planes coming in, and they will crash because you haven’t given them a collision-free flight plan.
After playing for a while, you will realize that the slower, non-pink aircraft usually won’t have very much flexibility in their flight plans. Because they are slow, they stay on the screen longer, taking up valuable airspace. So, you usually want to put the slower planes on a straight path to their landing locations, and make the faster ones take less direct routes if they need to go around the slower ones.
I find that the pink airplanes are the main ones I have trouble with. The key is to get them to land as soon as possible. What that means is that you should get the planes to be as close together as possible.
Remember what I said about getting a collision-free flight plan in place for each aircraft as soon as possible? Well, if you do that, it can be difficult to pack them in tightly. So, what you do is adjust. Start from the airplane closest to the runway and adjust its path so that it goes straight in. Take the next closest airplane and make its flight plan shorter, but not so short as to bump into anything.
Since the larger pink planes move faster than the smaller ones, sometimes you can get into trouble where a larger plane and a smaller plane share the same flight path, and the larger catches up with the smaller and crashes. You have to take this into account. It can be helpful to group planes. So, land all the large pink planes one after another, then land the smaller ones. There’s a contradiction here that you have to keep balanced. On the one hand, you want the slower planes to have straighter paths to get them off the screen faster. On the other hand, you want the faster planes to go in before the slower planes since you might have the faster planes run into the slower planes if you did things the other way around. Which strategy you take at which time depends on the positions of the planes and how many planes are currently on the screen.
There you go. There are my tips and tricks for the FlightControl app for iPhone. Hopefully you found these tips useful in your air traffic controling.