Developer: Happymagenta
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

There’s something oddly calming about Pilot’s Path. Reminiscent of classic helicopter based game, Desert Strike, there’s no violence within Pilot’s Path, leaving it a fun yet gripping game of making ends meet while keeping one’s boss happy.

Taking the role of a disgraced USAF ace pilot who has fallen on hard times, players must follow the orders of a villainous crime lord in order to earn his keep. It’s a little more flexible than that, however. While there isn’t any violence to be seen, with players only able to collect cargo and deliver it, it’s still quite fun to explore the world of Pilot’s Path.

Each game offers a randomly generated map, comprising of 50 different islands to explore. There’s a gradual trickle effect occurring though, as players can’t get everywhere immediately. For one thing, their helicopter isn’t sufficiently powerful. Players need to complete early missions and find random cargo to sell in order to buy new upgrades for the helicopter such as an increased fuel tank and a faster maximum speed. Gas also needs to be purchased at regular junctures in the game, otherwise it’s all over.

It might sound a little demanding but it’s all pitched at a relaxed and calm pace. Providing there’s enough gas, players can just travel around the game world to their heart’s content. If they don’t want to, though, there’s still an interesting story based campaign to pursue.

The controls for Pilot’s Path are reasonably effective. The right thumb controls elevation while the left thumb controls direction. The virtual joysticks appear wherever the player’s fingers are so there’s no real restriction, making it comfortable to play. For those with the right equipment, it’s possible to use an iPhone as a controller and an iPad as the screen which works pretty well. The added screen space is certainly welcome.

Coupled with its attractive yet clear graphics and Pilot’s Path ticks all the right boxes for an enjoyable open world title. Invoking the memories of old classics is a smart move but offering something a little different is all the smarter. The near pacifist style approach to Pilot’s Path‘s structure means there’s little else like it out there. Crucially, it’s excellent fun.

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