PicaSim: Free flight simulator
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+ By The Rowlhouse
PicaSim focusses primarily on incredibly realistic R/C glider flying (slope and thermal), including wind flow, turbulence and thermals in the simulation. The gliders range from small flying wings like the Weasel, aerobatic planes like the Phase 6, Le Fish and the Jart, up to larger soaring and scale planes, plus a full size hang glider. But there are powered planes too, including a fully aerobatic powered plane, the Extra 3D, as well as a control-line plane.
There's now a forum for posting bugs, suggestions and general discussion at http://picasim.freeforums.org
There's a detailed review of PicaSim in the February 2013 edition of Radio Controlled Soaring Digest: http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/ where it says "PicaSim is a fantastic flight simulator ... after a short time it’s like having a real transmitter in your hands".
Please remember it's a simulator, not really a game. I've made no compromises in terms of the simulation, handling or control. If you find it hard to fly - that's because flying R/C planes is hard (at first), but a fun and rewarding skill to master. PicaSim won't teach you to fly a R/C plane, but it can help you learn.
It comes with a large selection of aircraft (mainly gliders for the moment), multiple terrains to fly in, and many settings so you can configure it as you see fit, or create your own terrains to fly around.
It is completely free - no in-app ads etc. However, if you like it, find it useful, or would like to support future improvements etc please feel free to make a small donation - it will be hugely appreciated! You can do this through the PicaSim Donation version, or visit my website. I would like to cover the cost of the Marmalade licence which I'm using to support iOS and Windows as well as Android.
The Donation version also includes additional scenes, races, limbo challenges and planes (including a quadcopter). It will contain more "bonuses" over time, as a little thank you for donating, up until I can't get any more into about 20MB!
If your device is Android 3 or above and supports USB OTG, you can probably use an external USB gamepad or joystick, or even your R/C Transmitter (via an interface), using a USB OTG cable/adapter (very cheap). Its definitely worth trying. Make sure you connect the controller before running PicaSim, and then set it up in the settings->joystick menu. Here's a video walking through the setup: http://youtu.be/HnM0YDfVArs
A few things:
1. If you've never flown an R/C plane before, I suggest watching at least the start of this video: http://youtu.be/FsbOyWK_8zo - it will give you a few tips about how to not crash. Keeping airborne is pretty hard at first!
2. If you select a multi-stick controller (mode1 or mode2), watch out for glitches. If the sticks don't always follow your screen touches, your device probably doesn't support full multi-touch. Select "stagger controller" in Settings->Options.
Please keep an eye on the website (or follow on Facebook/Google+) for info on updates etc - it's also available on iOS and Windows. When it's more feature complete I'll add more info on all the settings and how to configure/use it properly... until then please just experiment, and contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.
Permissions: PicaSim needs internet access for the online leaderboards. It saves settings to the SD card, mainly because it supports using user-generated content. It needs the "Phone calls" permission for Marmalade - I think this is to handle interruption by incoming calls properly. PicaSim does not access any personal data on the device, and the only connection it makes is to the Scoreloop servers.
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Please *email* me if there are any problems - It's difficult to help or request more info in the reviews.
- (In full version) Add the AcroBat plane
- Support for external USB gamepads/joysticks etc. Requires Android 3+, device support for USB OTG, and a little effort to set things up. See the main description.
- (In full version) Replace the generic DLG with the Notos, and add a duration challenge for it.
- Reduce the Meadow thermal strength
- UI tweaks