Discovery Lets Users Channel Their Inner “Sully”

Discovery Channel Wednesday premiered a documentary, Hudson Plane Crash: What Really Happened. To promote the doc they have a new flash game on the website letting players attempt to make their own water landing after hitting a flock of geese.

You start out in the cockpit, taking off from the airport. After takeoff, there is a weird animation as the plane strikes a flock of geese. Users can then choose to tell passengers that it is time to panic: “we may not survive!”, or pull a Sully and say “brace for impact!” I don’t want to spoil it for you, but one of those two choices is wrong.

Then comes the coup de grace, where players have to keep the plane steady as it flies over the river. One misstep and the plane crashes into the water or on a nearby island. If you pull it off, you are greeted with this faux newspaper:

The whole thing strikes me as bizarre. But as we have seen, the more bizarre something is, the easier it is for it to go viral (Chocolate Rain anyone?).

Ultimately, what undoes it as a marketing tool is the fact that the game just isn’t very fun. In fact, it is downright tricky. If you fail, and you will probably fail at least once, the plane crashes in a silly and poorly executed animation.

All of which is unfortunate, because the documentary itself is quite good, with very interesting computer animations of what happened, as well as how it could have gone wrong.