Last week I purchased the F-Sim Space Shuttle app from Ledinsky Software (f-sim.com) for my iPhone and iPad. It is available for $3.99. This Universal app has updated graphics for the Retina display on the new iPad.
In this simulation you are in control of the space shuttle, Atlantis. Your mission is to touchdown safely at the John F. Kennedy Space Center or Edwards Air Force Base by following a flight path you see indicated by a visual approach path (i.e. rectangles) during a day or night approach to a runway. The visual approach path can be disabled once you become better at landing the space shuttle.
When starting the app you can choose either the “Quick Flight” or “New Flight” where you can customize the entire flight. For the more adventurous out there you can even adjust the “Settings” where you can have the “Autopilot” on manual. So far I have been using auto, but I will attempt all manual controls soon.
This simulation feels quite realistic, and the 3D rendering of the space shuttle is beautifully detailed. After making a landing you can watch a replay of the flight. This is also helpful if you want to see where you went wrong in case of a deadly crash.
You will receive a “perfect landing” score if you are really good. With that said, it is not easy guiding a space shuttle to a safe landing. It will take a lot of practice to land the Atlantis properly, but you will have a lot of fun in the process.
After some practice I was finally able to land the Atlantis without any major problems. See the screenshots below of the replay on my iPhone 4S. You can see where the rear wheels touched down on the runway before letting the nose wheel down.
You can listen to your music on the iPhone or iPad while guiding the shuttle to a safe landing, and Apple's GameCenter can be enabled or disabled.
In a future update I would like to see more shuttle names and more runways. Personally, I would like to fly the "Enterprise." :-) If I remember correctly, in the event the space shuttle could not land in California or Florida there were emergency runways available for use.
Overall Score: 5/5
This game was reviewed on an iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1.1.