Version Reviewed: 1.05
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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I remember a day when I went along to my local model store with a good friend of mine. He purchased himself a rather nice (and rather expensive) remote-controlled plane. With zero flight-experience, we ended up back at the model store by the end of that very same day to order a replacement wing. It turns out that landing those things is actually somewhat tricky, to say the least. I then passed on the idea of buying my own, but for a dollar I was certainly willing to give RC Plane 2 a shot on my iPhone.
As the name suggests, it's a flight simulation game that uses the concept of flying a virtual RC plane instead of a virtual, real plane (ignoring the fact that something cannot be both virtual and real). And, it's actually very similar to flying the real thing, save the paying for replacement parts. Everything from the control system to the handling feels just like it should, and while it's not the default view it's even possible to switch to a 'from-the-ground' camera angle.
The controls are laid as with two on-screen joysticks, with advanced options to adjust trim for each control for those that wish for such a thing. While those that haven't a clue what I'm talking about can get to grips with such things by way of a very well made tutorial that'll teach everything, but at a rate that allows for it all to sink in -- rather than bombarding with directions and sending the plane down the runway.
Once that's done with, and it may take a little while, there's a free-flight mode (self-explanatory) and an 'air racer' mode that tasks the player with collecting a series of coins with an arcade-like timer to reach the next. Both are great fun in their own ways, and the tutorial's even got a challenge-like feel to it that makes it worth replaying -- as does the inclusion of Game Center achievements. There's really nothing to complain about as far as the gameplay goes; it feels nice and looks good considering the large levels that are being rendered My only problem in-game was that the jet plane sound gets a little jarring after a while. My big complaint comes in the menu screens. They're not very well laid out, and finding the way to exactly what I wanted at a given time wasn't as easy as it should be.
Once the somewhat clunky menus have been overcome, though, RC Plane 2 was more than I'd hoped when first seeing it. Anybody that's got the slightest interest in aircraft will enjoy it a bunch, while it's also designed in a way that model plane enthusiasts are also likely to have a load of fun with it during the mundane times in life that they're unable to fly the real thing. Somebody that fits into either of those categories will certainly get their dollar's worth (and perhaps even others that aren't so into aircraft), and for those that really like it there's a bunch of in-app purchases available to unlock more planes and more game modes.