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X-Plane 9: Macity tests the flight simulator for iPhone and touch

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X-Plane 9 the first flight simulator available for iPhone and iPod touch is actually the first software capable of offering a realistic flight simulation to land in a pocket system. Never before has it been possible to play or train on the fly using a portable console or a pocket computer. the reasons are substantially two: the first concerns the hardware limits and the second of the complexity of the software and the type of game.

As for the first, we can say that, with the only exception of the Sony PSP, the hardware and graphics resources of the pocket systems have always been considered insufficient to manage a realistic flight simulation. As for the target audience, we remind you that flight simulators are available for all computing platforms but never or rarely for living room consoles.

For all these reasons, the appearance of X-Plane 9 on iPhone and touch represents a double surprise: Apple's paperbacks conceal perhaps unsuspected hardware resources until a few months ago, finally the great challenge of the App Store has fascinated users and developers, this quest the latter eager to try new software experiments. In many ways, the air that reigns in the world of Apple's multi-touch paperbacks is reminiscent of early computer science.

The X-Plane 9 graphics are also surprising simply by looking at the screens included in the description of the program on the App Store. The Macity editorial staff installed and tested it to test firsthand and on the move what it seemed like a prodigy for a pocket device when stationary. We can immediately say that the first expectations are not disappointed, on the contrary.

The fluidity of the panorama and the level of detail of X-Plane 9 are able to amaze anyone. Mountains, valleys and lakes are rendered with accurate and perfect graphics to make the idea of ​​the flight, we keep in mind that by carrying out grazing flights we will not be able to admire buildings and small objects in detail. This obviously possible in computer simulators but nobody would expect a similar detail from a pocket version.

Even those who are not a professional Flight simulator player can start the game and try their first take-off. The controls are all integrated into the game's graphical interface. On the left side of the screen we have the lever to increase and decrease the engine power, at the other end the lever to adjust the flaps. At the bottom of the screen we have at your fingertips the button to unlock the brakes and the button to lower and lift the trolleys. The sensitivity of the accelerometer integrated in the iPhone and touch is also perfectly adjusted: at the beginning a little practice is required to adjust the inclination of the pocket with the effect obtained on the plane but the operation becomes simpler after a few minutes of game.

X-Plane 9 will not make us regret commands and controls available only in computer versions: just touch the middle of the screen with a finger to access an impressive amount of menus, commands and controls. First of all, you can view the game from different angles, from behind the plane, a front passage view, view the air currents and then access the main menu. At the top we find 6 items that lead to as many submenus in which the player can choose the weather conditions, the presence of the wind and its strength, the time of day for night flights and night landings, visibility and presence of clouds. It is even possible to choose to fly with 4 different airplanes, to intervene on the weight of the plane and its center of gravity to test us with take-offs and landings in particular conditions.

X-Plane 9 a complex software but also a very fun game to try: this is also true for those who are not a fan of simulated flight. The cost of 7.99 euros justified by the quality of the program, by the wealth of features available and above all by the playability of the title. The weak point detected only one and not strictly related to the program: X-Plane 9 puts a strain on the battery of the iPhone and touch.

The game requires the download of a 6.2 MB file and can be purchased directly from this App Store page.