Flight Adventure 2

And now for something completely different.  When I started Indie Gamer Chick, I figured I would be playing all kinds of genres that I wasn’t entirely familiar with.  Instead, I’ve mostly been dealing with platformers and space shooters.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the Indie scene hasn’t exactly been the beacon of new experiences I thought it would be.  And then along came Flight Adventure 2.

Granted, flight sims are nothing new to gaming, but I never really got into them.  My father was hugely into Microsoft Flight Simulator, which he would often talk me into trying.  I would usually last about five minutes before boredom set in.  I did fair a little bit better with Pilotwings 64 as a kid, and later Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. series, although that’s a true simulation of flight in the same way Splinter Cell is a simulation of espionage.  But I never aspired to be a pilot and I didn’t figure games like this would figure into my life at any point.

When I spotted Flight Adventure 2 on the marketplace, I knew I had to give it a shot.  I mean, it looked damn good, and it was licensed by Boeing.  A licensed Xbox Live Indie Game?  Get the fuck out!  And then I was contacted by the developers of it, who assured me that online play was a major component of their game and provided me with a code to give to someone on my friend’s list, which my BFF Brian eagerly snatched up.  This not being the type of thing I’m into, I figured I would monkey around for an hour, maybe do a race or two, and then type up the most entertaining review of an Xbox Live Indie Game flight simulator you’ve ever seen.

Now, six hours of playtime later, I’m barely able to get through typing this without wanting to go back and play it some more.  Fancy that.

I usually try to get unbranded screenshots but this was the best I could do. My apologies.

Flight Adventure 2 isn’t heavy on options.  There’s only one airplane for you to fly, a P-51 Mustang, and you can’t customize it in any way.  There’s also only one map at your disposal, albeit an insanely huge one that contains multiple different routes for races.  I don’t know how much more or less complex this is than your typical flight sim, but the controls are complicated and you have lots of stuff to pay attention to once you’ve taken off.  So the game isn’t exactly easy to use, but neither is an actual airplane so I guess that’s the point.

If I could think of one word to describe Flight Adventure 2, it would be “relaxing.”  This is a no-pressure game experience.  Once you’ve taken to the friendly skies, cruising around at your leisure is very tranquil.  It helps that the developers focused on eliminating things that would take me out of the experience.  The draw distance is insane, to the point where there is absolutely no pop-up or fogging that would destroy the immersion created.  Meanwhile, you still have to manage things like your pitch and roll, adjusting your flaps and maintaining your speed.  If you go too fast, your plane can break apart, as mine often did.  You can change this in the options menu, which is handy if you plan on doing various stunts with your plane, but why bother?  I actually felt somewhat accomplished when I was able to do a loopty-loop in my Mustang without showering the Earth with broken airplane and body parts.

When you get bored with aimless flying, you can enter a race mode using Xbox Live or via system-linking.  You choose one of six courses where you must fly between what looks like miniature nuclear cooling towers.  I also had fun with this mode, but I should note that in my personal opinion, the towers aren’t spread apart far enough, and I would often clear a gate by crashing straight into it.  Brian said I was just being a crybaby and they were perfectly spread apart.  So basically Brian is an asshole and I’m right about this, because I felt it was just too hard to get between the damn checkpoints.

Then again, I really sucked at this game.  Even after several hours of playtime, I had been unable to land my plane successfully.  Brian tried to walk me through it, but our efforts were fruitless.  About five hours in, I was finally able to land my plane.  Kinda.  I broke off the wheels, but by God my character would have survived if he existed, and that’s okay with me.  I also semi-successfully landed on a hill once, but when it comes to collision-detection the game doesn’t seem to factor in speed.  I held the breaks and gently eased my way down the hill, going maybe a few feet per a minute.  At the bottom of the hill, I lightly tapped a tree with a force equivalent to having a fly land on you.  At this point, both my wings flew off at roughly the speed of light and my cockpit exploded.  I theorized that my pilot was in fact Hans Moleman.

I have to also break my rule that says people who received the free code get no feedback in this review, but I have to do so for a very important reason.  Whenever we were doing races, my friends Brian, Bryce, and Cameron had to bank hard to reach a checkpoint, and they would occasionally accidentally click the left stick, which brings up the map.  This happened often enough that it seems like it might be a problem for other players.  That or all three of them were just thick.  Brian?  Maybe.  Bryce for sure.  I don’t know Cameron all that well though, and the fact that it happened to him too suggests to me that maybe they shouldn’t have mapped the map to the left clicker.  For the record, it never once happened to me, but most of the time I was too busy crashing into trees to be worried about how steep I was banking.

I felt like Indiana Jones. "Fly? Yes. Land? No!"

And since I’m giving someone else feedback in my review, I might as well go in for a penny, in for a pound and also note that Brian thought the absence of fuel was weird.  I’ll admit that a game that takes itself so seriously with realism and accuracy ignoring such a key component of aviation was bizarre, but I was actually glad that I had one less thing to worry about.  Between adjusting my flaps, my thrust, and various other words that sound naughty if taken out of context, worrying about having enough gas in the tank would have been too much for me to handle.

Overall though, I really liked Flight Adventure 2.  It’s one of the few Xbox Live Indie Games that I can safely say I’ll keep playing long after I’ve finished reviewing it.  Despite its complexity, the game offers a leisurely experience that’s high in production value and low in cost.  Hell, I managed to write 1,100 words thus far without whining about how they didn’t include dog fighting in it.  My primitive brain is wired for combat, not for adjusting trim on an ancient airplane.  A flying game without shooting?  Total hogwash, or so I thought.  It should have been impossible for me to have enjoyed Flight Adventure 2, but I did.  I guess I enjoyed it because it made me feel like I was Amelia Earhart.  And by that I mean I was an unskilled pilot with a tendency to crash but, damn, what a ride!

Flight Adventure 2 was developed by CAVOK Games (website outdated)

240 Microsoft Points spent more time in trees than Tarzan in the making of this review.

A review copy of Flight Adventure 2 was provided by CAVOK Games to IndieGamerChick.com in this review.  The copy played by the Chick was purchased by her with her own Microsoft Points.  The review copy was given to a friend with the sole purpose of helping the Chick test online multiplayer.  That person had no limited feedback in this article.  For more information on this policy, please read the Developer Support page here

Nate, whom I hear went to the John F. Kennedy Jr. School for Flying, also reviewed this at Gear FishI would like to note that I experienced none of the online issues that he did.

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42 Responses to Flight Adventure 2

  1. I really wanted to try the online too, I wish I could figure out why it wouldn’t work for us. :(

    I was likewise impressed with the game once I actually played it though. I’d really love to see these guys take the groundwork from this and apply it to an online dogfighting game or add more planes/options. They’ve built an excellent launching point for it.

    • CAVOK Games says:

      Hi Nate,
      an update for Flight Adventure 2 is now available that fixes the multiplayer issue. If you’d like to try it out just start the game on your XBox and it will ask you if you’d like to update.
      We hope you enjoy the multiplayer flying!

      We also would love to see this evolving into an nice dogfighting game with more planes – as an arcade game we could offer more content without sacrificing our landscape – lets see what we can work out in the future…

  2. ivatrixgames says:

    I can’t help but wonder if the lack of planes and maps was because it wouldn’t fit inside the 150 Mb data cap.I don’t know how much space various 3D models would take up but I imagine it would take up quite a bit.

  3. ivatrixgames says:

    I don’t know a similar fiasco happened with XBLA were they told everyone they had a data cap but then when someone broke the data cap they were still okay with it. Probably just a guideline to moderate the developers.

    • Kairi was answered on twitter, but for anyone else curious the .ccgame file that’s uploaded to MS has to be under 150mb, but the final download file can be larger due to the way MS handles some types of compression and packages things.

  4. John Doherty says:

    Flight Adventure 2, keeps crashing on my Xbox, An error message keeps popping up during game play ??? Code 4 Error , how can I email the game creator. John

    • Kairi Vice says:

      I will personally contact them myself John and I will pass to them the e-mail you provided here. You’re not the first one to complain about problems (Nate Grave of Gear Fish couldn’t get the online working).

  5. CAVOK Games says:

    We really apologize for any inconvenience!

    We are currently seeing two problems:
    - Online gaming/Network issue – we have a problem with some Xboxes and/or networks. We are working on a fix for that and we hope to get an update released next week.
    - Crash when in map view: this problem is already fixed and the fix will be part of the update of next week.

    If you encounter any other problem or if you want to give us useful information/feedback, please send an email to:
    contact@stumpfegger-tarragona-gbr.de

    Thanks again for flying with us!

    CAVOK Games
    (Stumpfegger + Tarragona GbR)

  6. kieran says:

    i cant download the update it gets to 1 % then it says cant download – flight adventure 2 then when i try to re-download it, it does the same help

  7. CAVOK Games says:

    The update should be ready for download again! This was a problem with the Microsoft Marketplace that affected a couple of Indie Games – it looks like they worked on those games one by one and have it now repaired.
    If you had no luck so far, please try again.

    The Flight Adventure 2 update also cures the Network issue that some of our users experienced. We have already a positive confirmation of this from one of our customers who had this problem.

    If you encounter any other problem or if you want to give us useful information/feedback, please send an email to:
    contact@stumpfegger-tarragona-gbr.de

    Thanks again for flying with us!

    CAVOK Games
    (Stumpfegger + Tarragona GbR)

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  10. Liam Cook says:

    I love the fact most of the comments here are from the devs, and so I can say that I love your game far too much. In fact, I’m not sure me spending 6 hours straight on the game in some sort of dreary trance was necessarily your desired response, but props for getting it anyway.

    • CAVOK Games says:

      Hi Liam,

      awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback, this is very motivating. Your response is actually more than what we could have hoped for. :-)

      Thomas & Chris

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  12. Jim Rivers says:

    Is there ANY other way to get this game/simulation, besides online with xbox live? We currently have no access to xbox live, and no way to get online at all with any of that. My father used to fly a P-51, and I saw a real sparkle in his eye when he watched the promo for this game. I know it would mean the world to him if I could surprise him and somehow get a copy of this for him to experience. Any thoughts or input would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.
    Jim
    Ronniestwin@yahoo.com

  13. Alex says:

    It would be great if they made a menu start where you can choice airplane and airport and time , day / night , would also be great if they made bigger airport and some airplanes boeing 737 for example , i will buy the game if they will do something like this . I HOPE SO THANKS .

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  16. dan says:

    am i the only person who plays the game

  17. Victor Castillo says:

    Does anyone know the name of the song played in the main menu? thank you.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      The developers check in here from time to time. They would know the answer. I have no clue. I contacted them and asked them to respond, so keep checking in.

    • CAVOK Games says:

      The main theme is “victory”‘ the other track is “trailer 1″. Both are from a very talented guy (www.bubaproducer.com).

  18. Emualynk says:

    You might be interested in knowing that someone has “stolen” your article and pasted it here : http://indiegamesfortheplayers.blogspot.fr/2012/04/flight-adventure-2.html

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  20. flaming fishman says:

    The best game for the money. Gamer chick come fly with me and ill expand your experience flying. Its even more real sounding with a turtlebeach headset. I started flying shortly after it came out and still fly everyday. Ive taught many to fly here. “Really” come fly a different way that i do. ! Its even more fun. Not just flying or racing or crashing :-)

    • flaming fishman says:

      Also ive learned everything in this game including flying with no wings. Ive got plenty for you. more. Stop in to learn more what this game offers

      • Thanks for the offer but I’m actually retired from that game and anxiously awaiting the next installment. I did play it daily with Brian long after this review came out and got better. I’m glad you enjoy it though. Spread the word, it’s a keeper.

        • flippy2 says:

          ok. but if you do ill be around. landing upside down is a challenge to and then flip it over on its wheels. for more. invisible gear!!!!!!! thanks for a reply. shark attack was fun also. now with zomble sharks!!!!!

        • flaming fishman says:

          Ok heres my input for updates or changes. Keep the 2 planes,but change it to seaplane with gear to use the terrain then gear up to land on the water. Sounds fun to me.ill pay fo an update. Remove racing then. Just to keep it simple.

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