Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is having such a moment right now that people are apparently buying up all the supply of flight stick controllers, leaving plebes to use a keyboard and mouse or — *gasp* — gamepad like some kind of monster.
Screw that hoity-toity front-of-the-plane-you’re-a-captain simulation because Airplane Mode is clearly the more realistic flying experience. The One True Flight Simulator.
Read this game description and tell me you don’t already have your credit card at the ready:
This is a game where you play as a window seat passenger for the real-time duration of a long-haul commercial flight across the Atlantic.
If ever there was a blessed service we needed, it'd be the fine people at The Points Guy reviewing Airplane Mode. We, the people who can’t fly in 2020 (and maybe 2021), demand to know just how realistic this simulated coach flying experience is.
Developer Bacronym is promising an “airline travel experience down to every last 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 has a ton of features to according to Bacronym:
- Taxi, take-off, and landing.
- Fairly accurate satellite imagery of your flight path.
- Snacks, premium beverages, and meal service (incl. fish option).
- Carry-on bag with a book, headphones, pen, and charging cable.
- Overhead reading light and complimentary aircraft information card.
- Inflight safety video produced by IFC's in-house team of expert air hosts.
- Randomized events on every playthrough, such as turbulence, bad wifi, and delays.
- Authentic ambient noise—whose baby is that???*
- Inflight entertainment system featuring a flight tracker and hit movies of the 1930s.
- Our award-winning magazine, Stratospheres, filled with articles, crosswords, and Sudoku.
It had better be cramped — Judging by the short teaser video above and the five screenshots that the developer has shared, Airplane Mode looks to faithfully replicate the cramped experience of being crammed into a metal can like a sardine. It's incredible how quickly we forget what a wonderful experience it is to fly coach. Nothing makes you build character and patience like literally having no personal space.
For Bacronym's reputation, we sure hope they nailed the claustrophobia. Anything less would be completely disappointing. Every travel blogger and vlogger is depending on Airplane Mode's realism to revitalize their wanderlust.
Get your sim gear ready — Just like flight yokes selling out, we expect this game to blow up so hard noise-cancellation headphones will sell out as people desperately try to recreate the feeling of being blasted in the ears by jet engines. Massage chairs will probably go out of stock when people realize they're great for simulating turbulence. Barf bags will likely be in high demand, too. And don't forget the crying baby (there's always a crying baby). Gotta get a recording for that. Or a doll. Bacronym is very explicit that a "crying baby not guaranteed on every flight." We're very sorry if you were looking to assault your ears.
Start practicing being cramped because Airplane Mode comes out this fall for Windows and Mac. The only bad news: you won't be collecting miles for these long flights.