Occasionally you can get a feel for how good (or bad) a game is going to be from the very moment you begin. This is one of those games. After selecting a profile (which you can't rename) Island Flight Simulator begins with a wonderfully impersonal piece of text: 'Welcome Profile 01!' If at this point you've also decided to utilise off-TV play, you'll quickly notice the first major flaw - there is no sound at all being sent to the GamePad and no way to fix the issue. This in itself is inexcusable. Once the brief opening tutorial is done and dusted you find yourself on a tropical island in the proximity of a hangar, plane and a whole load of invisible barriers which instantly put a stop to any thoughts of further exploration, including excursions to any of the buildings just off the side of the runway.
The basic premise of Island Flight Simulator is to take on jobs to earn money; jobs involve flying to a neighbouring island, picking up a package then dropping it off on another island. There are legal jobs and high-earning illegal jobs which have a risk of you either being caught by the island police or simply not being paid.
This being a flight simulator, step 1 is to learn how to fly your plane. Fortunately it's pretty simple - pick an aircraft, spend some dollars on fuel and hop in. Engine on, hold down right trigger to accelerate and take off. Easy as that. Once in the air, consult the map and point yourself in the direction of your destination. Then wait. There's very little to actually do when flying other than have a bit of fun turning your engine on and off (which isn't really that fun) and getting to grips with flying your plane through the treacle-like atmosphere. Upon reaching your destination it's also simple to land - aim at the runway, slow down and apply the brakes. Considering this is touting itself as a simulator, it's all a little too easy and the margin for error is huge.
Regardless of where you land on the runway, as soon as you leave the plane you'll find yourself magically transported to the island's hangar complex with your plane re-aligned to where it needs to be to take off. The islanders must be very efficient. 'Hello Mr Pilot, Profile 01!' says the static image of a dubious looking islander as you're given your first shipment. There's nothing else to do on this island, so it's straight back into the blue yonder, flying in a straight line, doing nothing. On occasions when the destination is far across the map, Island Flight Simulator is surely a contender for the dullest game ever made.
Rather frustratingly, after each mission you have to also make the trip back to your base island before you can select the next task. After having the opportunity to upgrade your aircraft with money earned, it's time to select the next mission of which all are essentially exactly the same, only with varying destinations and pick-up points. This would be more bearable if the locations had any kind of character or variety, but each island looks practically identical – a runway, a few buildings, trees, and a sandy beach outline.
Graphically there's very little to be enthusiastic about; the clouds look fairly nice, but mostly the world is made up of bland textures, an expanse of flat blue sea and some fuzzy lines. Together with the drab sounds of either footstops (when on the ground) or engine sounds from your plane, Island Flight Simulator is a lifeless and soulless experience. Additionally, there's no progression as such other than upgrading your aircraft or purchasing a new one. Island Flight Simulator carries no storyline and no narrative behind any of the jobs, illegal or legit.
In conclusion, there's very little to recommend here - as a simulator it fails by not being sim-enough in both physics execution and pilot involvement, but equally it's not arcade-y or fun either. With very little to actually do and way too much repetition we'd advise you to look elsewhere. To end on a positive note, the loading screen is quite nice.