Airplane Mode, the sim that lets you lives the highs and lows (but mainly lows) of a six-hour economy class flight in first-person and in real-time, will land on PC and Mac this autumn.
Announced last November, Airplane Mode, developed by Hosni Auji and published by AMC, is inspired by Penn and Teller’s infamous monotony simulator Desert Bus, in which players are tasked with driving a slightly defective bus for eight straight hours in real-time along a single strip of road between Arizona and Nevada.
Airplane Mode, however, focusses its attention on one of life’s slightly more familiar monotonies, challenging players to keep themselves amused on a long-haul flight – including taxi, take-off, and landing – from the relative comfort of an economy class window seat.
Airplane Mode is aiming to deliver the full, soul-sappingly authentic long-haul flight experience, meaning you’ll need to contend with fellow passengers, cabin crew, questionable in-flight cuisine, and randomised events – delays, turbulence, bad wifi, and screaming babies, to name a few – while you, as AMC puts it, “stare in silence at the slowly passing clouds [and] try to make time go faster through sheer force of will.”
To ensure you’ve a fighting chance of making it through to the other side, though, Airplane Mode provides access to a pen, book, and headphones in your carry-on luggage, as well as a complimentary aircraft information card (and overhead reading light), a fully functioning in-flight entertainment system – providing a flight safety video, satellite journey tracker, and “hit movies of the 1930s” – and even an in-flight magazine, with articles, crosswords, and Sudoku.
“Other flight simulators give you high-definition cockpits with a billion switches and dials,” says AMC, “but Airplane Mode is the only one that offers a realistically rendered seatback trays.”
AMC has also revealed that, alongside the six-hour flight from JFK to Reykjavik announced last year, passengers will have the option to embark on a somewhat brisker two-and-a-half-hour flight from JFK to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “Six hours can be a big investment of time,” says developer Hosni Auji, “so we’re happy to offer this shorter flight option for players who want to experience Airplane Mode on a tight schedule.”
Airplane Mode – which features Bennett Foddy of Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy fame as your captain – touches down on PC and Mac (there’s a Steam page up already) this autumn.