COVID has changed a lot about the way we live our lives, and perhaps the worst part is there is no telling when our favorite activities will once again become stress-free. A year ago, we never could have imagined just how different life would look today. The world of sports has been turned on its head and all your travel plans have been canceled indefinitely (unless you have Microsoft’s new flight simulator). But now game developer Hosoji Auji from New York has given us a unique flight simulation: the passenger experience.
Flight simulators have been commercially available since 1979, but nearly every new version since has had one thing in common – they required you to fly the plane. We’re living in a time of extreme stress here, the pressure of trying to fly a plane and safely get passengers to their destinations is really just too much right now. Fortunately, Auji’s flight simulator gives its users a far more relaxing experience. Instead of sitting in the cockpit, ‘Airplane Mode’ players are seated comfortably in an economy-class window seat. In a press release from AMC Games, ‘Airplane Mode’ claimed its rightful place as “the only flight simulation game where players can experience the intense excitement of being an economy class passenger on a long-haul flight.”
The game boasts extreme attention to detail, “from the design of your seat and the seatback in front of you, to the contents of your carry-on bag and smartphone hard drive, to the behaviors of cabin crew and other passengers.” Airplane Mode’s Steam page continues, “The circumstances of your flight will change every time you play. Simply put, Airplane Mode is the most realistic flight simulation ever created. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.”
Adding to the true-to-life nature of the game is the fact that everything within the simulation happens in real-time, even the delays. Yes, your simulated flight can be delayed – it can also be turbulent, your wifi might be spotty, someone’s baby might cry for five straight hours, you never know what you’re going to get because each play-through is randomized. Don’t worry if your flight gets delayed though, the game’s in-flight magazine ‘Stratosphere’ (which is award-winning according to the game’s Steam page, but I imagine “fake magazines on fake flights” is a pretty small category so make of that what you will) contains crosswords, articles, and Sudokus.
Players can board a six-hour flight from JFK in New York to Reykjavik, or a 2.5-hour flight from New York to Halifax, and ‘Airplane Mode’ will be compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Perhaps the weirdest part of this game is that it’s been in development since 2017, a time long ago where getting through TSA was our biggest airport-related concern.
Whether you’re itching to travel or just need a six-hour break, ‘Airplane Mode’ has your back. Just make sure to use the bathroom before you start, I hear simulated airplane restrooms are the worst.