Thrustmaster came out recently with a bit of a surprise for MSFS simmers. Departing from the usual hardware products, Thrustmaster has released a freeware scenery package that is sort of a fictional playground for adventurous pilots looking for some new challenges.
i-Land, as Thrustmaster is calling it, is an island located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, where you’ll find a variety of cool sights and interesting things to do. For starters, it has a rather fancy international airport (TMFL), located near Tower City, the main settlement on the island. But there are a few additional airfields scattered around the island, from a small tarmac runway right at the edge of a cliff, to a small patch of grass in the middle of a lake.
i-Land includes other challenges, such as a tight and curvy canyon through where you can take a small aircraft, or an undisclosed donut-shaped strip somewhere to be discovered. There are also a series of beaches to practice some emergency landings… just let your creativity flow!
Thrustmaster uses i-Land as an internal testing ground for… something, and decided to give it back to the community as a small holiday gift. It’s clearly a somewhat rudimentary creation, with some unrealistic mountain slopes, jagged beach lines, or poor ground textures with some out-of-place colors. But there are also some cool landmarks around the island, some even alien-like, while others look like the product of some mad architect, especially around the main city, like a huge monument that seems inspired in St. Louis’ Gateway Arch.
Thrustmaster says that they will keep improving the scenery, based on user feedback. Through the island you will find several “Coming Soon” signs, which point to some additional features and challenges to be added in the future.
In the end, this is an interesting concept that enables some creative things to be made that would otherwise look out of place somewhere in the “real” world.
To try out i-Land, you need to give Thrustmaster your e-mail… which is just a little bit weird, but they say it’s the way you’ll get notified of any upcoming features and updates for the product. Who knows what Thrustmaster is planning for this… they seem to have something bigger in mind, but we’ll have to wait to see if this is the start of a new thing or indeed just a small little freeware scenery.
i-Land is available through this dedicated page, and it’s a very hefty download at around 14 GB.