Airplane mode (6)

Six hours. Six fucking hours stuck in the absolute hell that is last class, crammed into a claustrophobic seat that’s barely big enough for a regular adult with freshly-amputated legs to sit in. And you want to know the real kicker to all of this? I wasn’t even flying for real, as I’d settled down inside of a virtual plane within the game of Airplane Mode.

I think anyone who has flown could attest to just how awful the experience is, and coupled with my severe and all too real phobia of air travel, Airplane Mode captures all of that misery. It’s a terrifying and boring descent into the madness of airline travel, complete with all the horror that the mode of transportation has to offer.

Airplane mode (2)

That eternal wait for the damn plane to finally take off from the runway, an airline attendant giving you the cold shoulder when she walks past, and some twat in the seat on the other end refusing to chat to you because he’d rather watch badly-cropped movies on his tiny viewscreen. I hate it, I hate it so much for being this accurate.

Of course there are some distractions to be had, such as a proper in-flight magazine that features vacuos articles about travel destinations that you could never afford a holiday too, public domain movies, and the most unfairly rigged game of Blackjack that I’ve ever experienced. You can even put on a noise-canceling headset to drown out the sound of the plane engines, fiddle with that weird nipple-shaped air vent thing above your head and juggle a puke-bag while you wait for a chance to get your drinks.

Airplane mode (10)

All of which will last you several minutes and then it’s several hours being left alone with nothing but several pills that I swallowed despite not knowing what they do:

Airplane mode (1)

And my thoughts:

Airplane mode (11)

There are also a few moments when the game delves into the realm of fantasy. For starters, I’m amazed to find out that there’s an empty seat between me and my fellow passenger because I’m usually forced to share my oxygen with a virulent slob who takes their shoes and socks off before a flight starts, forcing me to rip open the compartment above me so that I can breathe pure oxygen instead. There’s no in-flight meal either, although having experienced mile-high cuisine, I’d rather eat my toenails instead. At least the cat photos on my smartphone were worth the agony though.

Airplane mode (13)

I hate it, I hate it all so damn much, which is perhaps the best compliment that I can give to Airplane Mode for nailing the mental torture of air travel. Six hours is absolutely nothing compared to some of the trips I’ve endured in the past, such as spending over 30 hours in the air over the course of three days to reach Los Angeles for E3 that one year, repeating said trip on the way back and landing in a piss-cold OR Tambo airport in summer clothing only to discover that my baggage had been lost before I was due to make one final flight back home.

Airplane mode (3)

Airplane Mode captures that despair of cruising altitude purgatory, it bottles up that misery of monotony, and it sells it as an authentic experience in last class travel that I never ever want to touch again.

Last Updated: October 20, 2020

Airplane Mode
Airplane Mode is everything you’d expect from a well-crafted flight simulator where you’re not in control: Boring, hopeless, and a dangerous invitation into the depths of your own unhinged psyche brought on by a high altitude prison that you paid to be incarcerated in. It’s almost the end of the year, and I think I’ve just found the winner of the best horror game of 2020.
7.0
Airplane Mode was reviewed on PC
53 / 100

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