If you spend any time at all on social media, you may have seen how much people have fallen in love with Microsoft’s latest Flight Simulator release. And it’s easy to see why. Not only is it a well-made title, accidental 212-story monolith and all, but it came at just the right time with so many people unable to fly due to the pandemic. But let’s say you miss some of the more prosaic aspects of flying, the simulator you want to play, Airplane Mode, is coming out this fall on PC and Mac (via Eurogamer).
The objective of Airplane Mode is to survive all six hours of a long-haul flight from New York City to Reykjavik in real-time. Along the way, you’ll need to contend with all the usual things that can make an economy class flight miserable: rude passengers, screaming babies, dodgy WiFi and more. If you decide one playthrough isn’t enough, some of the events that happen during the flight are randomized so there’s some replayability to be found.
To help you get through those long hours, you’ll find distractions like an in-flight magazine — with included Sudoku and crossword puzzles — and a safety video produced by AMC’s IFC channel, in case you haven’t watched enough of those for one lifetime. Fortunately, you’re also in a window seat, so you can always stare at passing clouds if things get really dull.
“Other flight simulators give you high-definition cockpits with a billion switches and dials,” says publisher AMC Games. “But Airplane Mode is the only one that offers a realistically rendered seatback trays.”
If you just want a taste of the Airplane Mode, the game also comes with a two-and-a-half-hour flight from New York City to Halifax, Canada. Of course, you could also do the two flights back to back.
When AMC Games announced Airplane Mode in 2019, the world was a different place. The coronavirus pandemic had yet to trap most of us in our homes. What seemed more like a postmodern commentary than an actual game at the time is probably something you’ll see people now buy and play out of a desire to reclaim something they’ve lost. You might think that’s silly, but companies like First Airlines, which offer remote travelling experiences, have seen ticket sales increase by as much as 50 percent during the pandemic.