When you look at a game about flying a drone, you probably don't expect much. After all, how much fun could sitting on your couch while controlling a virtual toy actually be? The answer may surprise you, so it's time to give this thing a thorough test drive.
Quadcopter Pilot Challenge is basically composed of short challenges where you fly a drone with realistic controls as well as you can. Since the controls are sensitive, don't count on being an expert right off the bat. In fact, it'll probably take you a good 15 minutes to learn how to pilot your quadcopter well enough to make it through simple challenges. Because the controls are so sensitive, you'll find that moving the sticks ever so slightly will impact your flight path. The left stick tilts your craft while the right rotates and adjusts thrust. When you tilt all the way forward, the drone will descend quickly so the key to success is constantly adjusting thrust, rotation, and tilt in order to fly efficiently through each course. Obviously, since it takes a great deal of practice to master, impatient gamers should definitely pass on this game. However, if you're patient enough then the reward for becoming an ace pilot will be well worth the effort.
As you fly around completing challenges, you have two places to look. You'll see the drone from a third-person perspective on your television and from a first-person mounted camera on the GamePad. This is implemented wonderfully as you can easily switch between the two perspectives depending on the situation that you're faced with. That being said, the graphics aren't really anything special since it looks like an early Wii game. By far the worst part of the visuals is that you only get to experience one environment which is in the middle of a desert. On the plus side, the audio complete with toe-tapping lighthearted music and accurate sound effects make flight a lot more enjoyable. Overall, it doesn't look like much, but at least gameplay doesn't suffer as a result.
One of the most impressive features of Quadcopter Pilot Challenge is the variety of challenge types. You'll begin by flying through rings, shooting targets with tennis balls, knocking cans down with a hammer, and completing checkpoint races. Things start to get amusing when you move on to herd robot sheep, rescue dummies after a disaster, and deliver hamburgers to hungry blue figures. Each type offers unique gameplay mechanics and requires additional practice to learn strategies that allow you to play them effectively. However, some modes are much more unforgiving than others which makes for some uneven difficulty. For example, herding sheep sometimes feels more like chance than skill and hitting specific cans requires spot-on accurate movements which can get incredibly frustrating.
As you play, you'll unlock and experience a ton of content that vastly expands on the available set of modes. Three difficulty settings allow you to play with or without a shield around your propellers and the most challenging difficulty shifts the view on your television to be from the grounded pilot's perspective. To practice, you can play through a brief tutorial or fly freely around in "Free Fly" mode. If you're ready to take on individual challenges then you can select whichever one you want to tackle next but before you do, you'll have to unlock them in the "Flight Academy". This mode stars Jenny Rotors who issues three random challenges to you. Depending on how well you complete them, you'll gain a certain amount of reputation points that are reflected on your QCPC licence.
If the idea of flying a drone through many different challenges is appealing to you then Quadcopter Pilot Challenge is a game that surely won't disappoint. With tons of content and rewarding gameplay, you'll spend hours trying to be the best quadcopter pilot around.
- + Realistic controls are rewarding to master
- + Plenty of variety when it comes to challenges
- + Tons of content that'll keep you hooked until you've achieved greatness
- - Impatient gamers need not apply
- - Only one boring environment
- - Uneven difficulty since some challenge types are more unforgiving than others