STAFF REVIEW of Land It! (Xbox One)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
by Mandi Jennings

Land It! Box art Land It! has you taking the reigns of an air traffic controller. The game description really pushes the excitement of this career, beginning with the first three sentences: "Try yourself as an air traffic controller and direct planes to safe landing! Can you land airplanes without crashing them? Can you be as good as the real people who run the show when you are flying?”

Now, I don’t know about anybody else here, but any game about airplanes immediately brings me back to the earlier days of Microsoft’s Flight Simulators. As anti-climactic as they may be, there was some joy in the particular control needed in order to land the planes, take off, and ensure you didn't crash into AI traffic. It was clear from the beginning that Land It! was nothing like and of the Flight Simulators, but it was interesting nonetheless to see a new take on the airplane genre.

Land It! has 27 individual levels for you to master as an air traffic controller, where you will be conducting the airwaves to ensure each plane arrives at their destination safely. The first levels are very simple and will teach you what you need to know about the controls and what the game expects you to do with each plane. In some cases you’ll simply be landing the planes, while in other cases you may be landing the planes, dropping off passengers, and then taking off again while sending the plane off to a destination beyond the screen.

As the levels progress don’t let those first easy levels fool you, you will be encumbered with numerous planes that need to go to multiple places all at once. At the same time, there will be planes waiting on the outskirts of the screen with timers counting down - you can choose to pull those planes in at anytime they appear on the screen (if you’ve already set your current planes up and have the time to do so), or you can leave them and they will automatically fly into view when their countdown reaches zero. You will need to switch between each plane to ensure they are on the right path as there will be obstacles aside from other planes that you need to navigate them around, such as mountains, no fly zones, and other things.

The graphics are fairly simple, but informative when they need to be. For example, the no fly zones are very obvious, and each plane has a crash bubble surrounding them which helps to see how close you can get to either the mountains, the no fly zones, and the other planes.

As for the audio, I have to be honest here as I hardly noticed the music while I was focusing on the task at hand - DON’T CRASH THE PLANES! The actual sound effect that Nemesys Games uses when your plane crashes is very jarring, and if that sound isn’t enough to keep you from crashing your planes, then re-playing some of these levels 10 times over just might, if it doesn’t make you rage-quit from the clunky controls when switching between 10+ planes.

When concluding each individual level you’ll receive an overall score, as well as a mission bonus and time score, so of course you’ll want to play a few of these levels over again to see if you can find JUST the right paths to fly the planes in to maximize your score. If the 27 levels aren’t enough for you, or if they become too much, you can always head on over to the three different endless mode environments that the game offers.

In short, Land It! has it’s moments, and if you can get yourself past those first few training levels it’s worth spending a few hours playing it. That being said, this is the type of game that would be much better suited on a mobile device or handheld system, as the controls get difficult when you try to manage more than 5-7 planes at a time. But if you really want to take control of the air, so to speak, this type of game may satisfy that craving a bit, but it is one that is better spent playing in short bursts.

This would be an excellent mobile / handheld game for passing the time.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 4.5 / 10


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