Piloting a jetpack looks like the easiest thing in the world in various Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. Piloteer is a new iOS game that shows just how hard flying with a jetpack can be with an uncompromising physics based challenge. The game comes from the maker of the Pivvot and Polymer, and Piloteer moves away from the puzzle games to deliver difficult action. Piloteer is all about challenge to control the jetpack that is always on the brink of flying out of control, and then trying to land on two feet after flipping all around.
The jetpack is controlled by tapping and holding on both sides of the screen to activate all thrusters, or tap an individual side to just focus on one thruster. There’s not much precision available, and a lot of controlling is learned through trial and error. Even when you get the hang of the controls, you’re still close to out of control at all times which makes the game particularly hectic. Piloteer revolves around a rolling list of missions with 60 different ones to complete spread across three different environments. There’s a brutal physics engine combined with trick based gaming to make every mission an intense challenge that will require numerous restarts. You will crash often, and that’s perfectly ok which leads you right into replaying over and over again to nail a mission.
There’s an odd dichotomy in Piloteer with a frustrating style on one hand that still has serene elements so that success always feels possible, and you never feel like tossing your device away. It’s almost a feeling of bemusement with each crash with humorous radgoll physics to enjoy in the moment with the hope of piloting properly the next time out. It’s simply fun to fly above the clouds, perform three back flips, and land on a hotdog cart while always trying to harness a jetpack that is like a bucking bronco. Pulling off any particular mission and landing on two feet feels quite rewarding, and offers enough incentive to make the retries worth it and to get ready for the next mission.
Piloteer ($2.99, Universal) creates an atmosphere of challenge that keeps you engaged like watching a car crash on repeat that makes it well worth picking up.