“Hero on the Hudson”: Play it on Gadling!

Maybe it’s too soon for this, but there’s already a popular online game inspired by the recent emergency landing on the Hudson River. “Hero on the Hudson” isn’t terribly sophisticated, but it gets the point across. You are in the left seat, acting as US Airways Flight 1549 pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Your plane is headed toward the Hudson River, and you need to take action.

This free game was put together by Orb Games Ltd. The company, which is based in Kiev, Ukraine, has been around since 2006 and is responsible for such popular (and viral) titles as “Duke Nukem Endangered Species,” “Star Wars Galaxies” and “Vivisector: Beast Inside.” Orb also developed games for Nintendo DS and Sony’s Playstation and PSP consoles.

According to company CEO Andriy Sharanevych, the “Hero on the Hudson” was created around a week and a half ago, only days after Sully brought his bird down west of Manhattan. Sharanevych claims that the miracle of the event is what prompted the game’s development: “We just wanted people to understand and not to forget that this is not for granted, so we tried to make a game that would remind everyone about this miraculous event.”

I know I’m a cynic, and I do wonder if this is just convenient admiration to mask just a bit of opportunism (which I really don’t fault anyway). Apparently, I’m not alone.

Find out what users think after the jump, and take your own shot at the landing!Sharanevych has received mixed feedback from users, many of whom have considered the game “heartless.” But, the CEO defends himself with the scripted monologue, “[W]e deliberately made it very simple to make a successful landing in the game, as this is the game about the miracle and not a tragedy. You can play a role of a pilot, who will save hundreds of lives behind him and bring joy, happiness and hope to millions of people.”

Stunt or salute, it’s definitely brought home results. “Hero on the Hudson was played more than 1.5 million times in the first week it was available. And, more traffic is expected.

Read the entire interview with Sharanevych here.

View our ongoing coverage of Flight 1549.

Ready to play? Click and hold with your mouse, then move it around to try to swing the plane into a safer landing position.


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