Simple 2000 Series Vol. 35: The Helicopter

Let’s get this out of the way right now: even though The Helicopter features a radio-controlled helicopter, it is not in any sort of competition with Shiny’s RC Stunt Copter. It doesn’t remotely aspire to that game’s level of simulation, and it won’t appeal to anybody expecting an extremely accurate flight model. What this is is a simple, pleasant, unassuming mission-based flight game not unlike Rescue Copter. It’s also the sequel to a Simple 1500 title for Playstation of the same title, which was released overseas as simply “RC Helicopter.”

The game’s set in a suburban Japanese environment, with three different major locations: the player’s home, a shop-lined street, and a school building. The player controls the helicopter at all times, from the very beginning of the game, and is free to roam about the available locations looking for work that needs to be done. Golden stars are scattered around the environments, and picking one up by running into it with the helicopter will cause a mission to start. The missions each involve one of the game’s NPCs giving the player a fairly mundane task to carry out, like washing windows, killing cockroaches with bug spray, scaring away crows, cleaning up empty soda cans in a vacant lot, or returning lost bikini tops to distraught female swimmers (um, yeah). Auxillary actions are handled with the R1 (and sometimes L1) button, and these actions – whether squirting or grabbing – behave predictably and reliably, unlike in Rescue Copter. All of the NPC speech is in Japanese text only, but it’s easy to tell when they mention the buttons one will be using on a mission, and easy to figure out mission goals even if one doesn’t understand a word of moonspeak.

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