I understand that mobile gaming should be bite-sized portions of fun, the fire-and-forget of time wasters, but can’t we come up with anything other than physics puzzles and match-3? Sascha Ledinsky thinks its found the answer with F-Sim Space Shuttle, a $3 iOS game that breaks off the most challenging task in a flight simulator and serves it up solo.
F-Sim Space Shuttle drops you into a 3D rendered replica of the shuttle’s cockpit and challenges you with tilting you iDevice around in order to coast America’s favorite spacecraft onto the runway of either Edward’s AFB or Kennedy Space Center. Two minutes of fun on the run for the hardcore.
Dive into the settings however and you will discover another world of options to play with. Toggle on/off auto assist for various controls such as gear, chute, speedbrake, or rudder; Choose which runway or even approach direction; Simulate equipment failure of the HUD or hydraulics. Want to land the shuttle at night on the Cape in heavy turbulence with the guidance systems busted? F-Sim has you covered.
…and that’s pretty much the review I wanted to write; a quick game with hardcore gameplay, a sea of options, and spiffy graphics. There was just one problem: I hated playing it. I got what I wanted and didn’t want what I got.
F-Sim’s one glaring flaw lies in its very conceit: Use finicky motion controls to fly one of the most bloated aircraft ever built in a flight simulator’s trickiest sequence. To its credit, you can tilt the shuttle onto the runway with only a blown tire after a little practice with all the assists turned on, but anything else was a frustrating chore. Flight Simmers looking for a quick fix will find a lot to like about F-Sim Space Shuttle, everyone else would probably be better served by a trip to NASA.gov for their space shuttle fix.