Take Off: The Flight Simulator | Nintendo Switch Review
In preparation for this review, please ensure your seat belts are fastened, seat backs are in the upright position, your window blinds are open and your tray tables are stowed. Today we will be looking at Take Off: The Flight Simulator on the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Jujubee and published by Astragon, Take Off: The Flight Simulator is available now on Windows PC and Nintendo Switch, and as the name would suggest this is indeed a flight simulator, and it is also another mobile game which has flown over to the Nintendo Switch.
The game starts by getting you to create your Pilot ID card where you can change your photograph, name and also company name. You then find out that your dear old grandad is ready to hang up his wings and retire, passing over the reins of his airport to you. From here you are thrust into the seat of your first aircraft to complete a short tutorial which, in all honesty, I didn’t find to be the most helpful. I found landing the plane to be the most challenging - the game gave no real hints on the best way to land your plane. It doesn't tell you what speed you should be aiming for or best approach altitude. You just get left to find that out for yourself. I feel like a little bit of guidance here would have gone a long way.
Once the tutorial has been completed, it's time to buckle up and start attempting some missions. There is a good variety of missions to try and keep things interesting ranging from landing in a storm to helping the police locate an escaped criminal. Completing a mission successfully will earn you in-game currency and XP, which you will need in order to unlock new missions and progress through the game. You must purchase new aircraft to advance through each category but these are expensive so it really feels very grindy and it takes a long time to unlock everything. Once you reach experience level 10, you unlock the World Map which opens up a sort of management mode where you manage your own airline and can embark on international flights to gain more money to unlock new flight paths and to gain XP. With 24 aircraft to unlock and 50 missions to complete, there is plenty here to keep you busy, but you do have to grind pretty hard to earn the money and XP required to progress through the game and it can feel really tedious at times. There are no checkpoints in the missions which means if you crash during landing, which I did on countless occasions, you have to redo the whole flight which can take a long time. There is the option to speed up time up to x4 but, honestly, it doesn't make the game feel like any less of a slog.
There are customisation options for your aircraft with new skins and paint jobs which you can purchase. These options are not the most in depth or exciting but at least the choice is there. You can also upgrade your plane's performance by spending in-game currency to improve engine power, acceleration, braking and durability. The Nintendo Switch version in handheld mode has touch screen controls to set speed, altitude, heading, adjust flaps and extend and retract the landing gear. The right stick moves controls the plane's roll and pitch while the trigger buttons control the yaw. These actually worked really well and the aircraft felt nice to control.
The graphics, I must say, are pretty terrible. There is very little detail in the environment and everything looks quite boxy. I understand that this is a port from a mobile game but that does not excuse the poor visuals. I have played a few mobile ports on the Nintendo Switch now and none of them looked as bad as this. The audio effects also leave a lot to be desired with nothing sounding particularly realistic and the droning of the aircraft engine really gets very annoying after a while.
Take Off: The Flight Simulator does not come with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a realistic flight simulator but then again, this is not what the game is trying to be. This is more of a low tech flight simulator with some business management elements. If it’s a realistic flight simulator you are after, then this is not it. If you are looking for a game where you can turn your brain off, relax and fly a plane then this could be a decent option.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 2 crash landings out of 5.
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Many thanks to Astragon for the Review Key.