Laminar Research has released yet another flight simulator app for the iDevices. This time around it’s one we’ve been waiting for: X-Plane Racing. That’s right, racing! The app consists of  ‘highway-in-the-sky’, ‘hoops’ that you can go though. There are 4 regions for now and 4 planes (as developer states: “for now”). There’s a course per region per plane, for a total of 16 courses to race though. You can play against the AI plane, which will give you quite a challenge. Courses vary, based on location. Sometimes you will be going almost straight up, sometimes down canyons and valleys, and sometimes close to a river.

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As for locations, you can choose from :

  • Canyons (the default location and quite fun and challenging).
  • Juneau, Alaska (mountains and rivers combine to make it challenging and fun to race in)
  • Anchorage, Alaska (ups and downs and mountains, can you avoid crashing and win at the same time?)
  • Provost, Canada (both easy and hard, combines a little of all the other regions)

And as to the planes:

  • F-15 Eagle (my favorite. Has afterburner, is the default one, and goes fast)
  • F-4 Phatom (it’s ok, but I don’t like it, a bit difficult to control)
  • F4-U Consair (feels a bit weird at first, but you get the hang of it. Slower than the others but is more controllable)
  • P-51 Mustang: (same goes as for the F4-U Consair, but this one is VERY tricky to land).

My experience with it has been very good, same as with all the other X-Plane apps. Laminar Research puts a lot of work and quality into their apps. No bugs found so far, everything is going smoothly. Beating the AL plane is tricky and any mistake can cost you. Awkwardly, even if you are in the lead, the AL plane shows up in front of you. But that does not bother me, I still beat it 🙂 . Also, at the end of each course it tells you your time and how many hoops you missed, and the AL plane’s time and how many hoops he missed. But there is more.

The AL plane is a lot of fun, all 16 courses…………….yeah yeah. But there’s another thing about the app, something that gives it a kick. Multiplayer. That’s right, Laminar Research has added multiplayer to the game. So as long as you and the other player are connected on the same Wi-Fi network, you can race against each other. Booyahh!! This feature is a blast. Playing with your friends is a blast. Especially since they are smarter, and trickier than the AL plane. For those owners of the other X-Plane apps, nothing to worry about. An update was released with other stuff this morning and it includes multiplayer. BUT, you don’t get hoops in the sky or a marked course.

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The app also features a sound system when landing (also added to the other apps in the update) so either a squeak from a nice landing or a thump from a hard landing. Also in “Racing” and added to the other apps are visible afterburners, and a basic autopilot. I must say, Laminar Research is outdoing themselves. And they are trying to put everything they can into the app, pushing the limits (I’m on a 2G Touch, supposed to be better for gaming, and it got hot!). A little note, the apps are always being updated with a bunch of things. There is an option to set the tilt (in ALL apps) so you can even play from bed. The desktop version of X-Plane is FAA approved, the iPhone version has 90 something percent accuracy. Now that’s good!

The app is currently priced at the same price as all the other X-Plane apps, $9.99. There is a “series” of X-Plane apps:

  • X-Plane – $9.99 – The original, and best for general use. Still my favorite one.
  • X-Plane Helicopter – $9.99 – Came later on, strictly helicopters. A little harder (I don’t own it though) but I say this because helis are hard to fly.
  • X-Plane Airliner – $9.99 – Came along with Heli, strictly airliners. Although fun it is a bit more challenging. But it’s great fun to fly a 747 on your iDevice.
  • X-Plane Extreme – $9.99 – All about speed and the extreme. Very fun, and my personal second favorite.
  • X-Plane Racing – $9.99 – As mentioned above.

All of the apps now have multiplayer. I am loving every app and highly recommend them. You will get lots of fun no matter which app you get. Plus who has not wanted to fly a 747 on an iPhone?! The X-Plane apps are the only flight simulators on the App Store and they are just great. In case you cannot decide which one to get I will post later on which I recommend depending on what you like.