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With Final Approach for the Atari 2600, the safety of thousands of lives is in your hands. You play an air traffic controller who must help in guiding giant airliners and small private aircraft in taking off and landing at a busy international airport. Up to four airplanes can appear onscreen at once. From time to time a plane will begin flashing an emergency signal; you should help the troubled aircraft immediately. Oftentimes it is necessary to move non-emergency planes out of the way of flashing planes.
Final Approach consists of two playfields: the Approach Control Radar (ACR) screen and the Ground Control Approach (GCA) screen. The ACR shows you all the planes in the vicinity of the airport. Here you use a cursor to control the movements of the aircraft. Once you have aligned a plane with the runway strobes and prepared it for final approach, you should switch screens.
While in the GCA screen, you must bring your aircraft in for a safe landing by monitoring its altitude and heading. Moving the joystick up and down controls altitude and moving the joystick left and right controls the steering when you are trying to keep the plane centered on the runway.
You score points for safely landing planes and lose points when you let an aircraft wander off the radar screen. If you make an improper landing, neglect a flashing plane or allow two aircraft to fly too closely to one another, you will be penalized with a control error. You begin each game with four control errors allowed and will be given an additional control pardon for every 500 points you score.
Final Approach is for one or two players. Turns alternate on each near miss or failed landing. If four airplanes onscreen at once are too much for you, you can adjust the difficulty level to allow only two or three. In the harder difficulty levels, crosswinds effect your aircraft on landing. The more points you score, the faster the airplanes fly. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide