Have you ever wondered what it might be like to steal an airplane? Skyjacker, a new mixed reality game from indie studio 51st Parallel Ltd, gives you the opportunity to find out. Due out in June 2017 for iOS with an Android release to follow, Skyjacker is the first game that’ll put you in the role of a skyjacker where you’re rewarded for commandeering and diverting aircraft, among other related challenges.
It certainly promises to be one of the most interesting games of 2017, though it’s likely to face an uphill battle to prove that it’s an airborne Grand Theft Auto rather than a terrorism simulator. This is made more difficult by the mixed reality component, which has you seizing control of nearby flights based on real-time flight data. Crucially, the creators of Skyjacker were inspired by the ‘golden age’ of American skyjackings rather than the likes of the 9/11 hijackers or those responsible for EgyptAir Flight 648.
Did you know that between 1968 and 1972 over 130 American flights were hijacked? The vast majority of these skyjackings were carried out by criminals looking to profit financially or individuals seeking asylum. Now that airplane hijacking is an act so closely linked to terrorism in the public imagination, it’s easy to forget that for the longest time skyjacking wasn’t overtly political. The most legendary of these skyjackings was that carried out by ‘D.B. Cooper’. The infamous D.B. Cooper escaped by parachute after claiming a $200,000 ransom which the Skyjacker developers claim was the main inspiration for the game.
With game and cover art by Tavis Coburn, we already know that Skyjacker is going to look great — but does it play well, too? If you aren’t prepared to wait until the game’s official release, 51st Parallel are currently open to beta testers. The game is being released in beta in stages so sign up now (link here) to be one of the first to pluck the planes right out of the sky above you and bring them to destinations unknown.