There are certain games that were meant for a touch screen; games in which buttons would be superfluous. Air Traffic Controller 4.0 XL Lite for iOS is one such game. While there will certainly be comparisons to other (one in particular) games in this niche, Air Traffic Controller manages to find its own way with a number of unique features, engaging gameplay elements, and challenges. The interface is simple enough, the menu bare-bones, and the Lite version has a number of ads, but the game itself is solid and while you won't have access to all 50 levels, you can play 10 for free.
The game is simple enough. Planes fly onto the screen and you must plot a course for them with your finger. Each plane has a marker for where it needs to go - either off the screen or landing at the nearby airport (on one of three or more runways). The Lite version does not feature any of the complicating gameplay elements like snow levels, clouds, no-flight zones, or additional aircraft types, but it does include wind speed, level indicators, and onscreen alerts to keep things interesting. The core game is compelling enough on its own and more than enough to help you decide if you want to invest in an upgrade.
While the game does not take full advantage of the iPad's power, it does look crisp and runs very smoothly with no lag and starts up almost instantly when you tap the app icon. The music is about as old-school as the graphics and we frequently played with it turned off, but the core gameplay is engaging enough to warrant a download. In nearly every way, Air Traffic Controller XL Lite delivers on its promise to provide a simulator of the chaos and quick decision-making needed to direct air traffic over a city.