Airport Mania: First Flight Review

Game: Airport Mania: First Flight
Genre: Click Management
System: Nintendo DSiWare (DSI/3DS)
Review by: MrB4

Does anybody here hate waiting in long lines at the airport before a flight, and wish there was some way that things could be organized just a little bit better to make your travel experience at the least very least a tolerable one? Maybe there is a way that everything could be combined together into one concise format to ensure the best experience possible. To be perfectly honest though, I don’t see philosophy being implemented into any real world airports employee handbook anytime soon, but for now, at least people can have some fun with that idea in Airport Mania: First Flight for the DSiWare service. Who knows, maybe you could teach these owners a thing or two about how to run a buisness like this properly, but they probably won’t listen anyway. 

Gameplay: Fun, addictive, simple, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time. The main idea idea here is that you are the owner of an airport, and you have to make sure each plane arrives on time, picks up its passengers, and leaves as fast as possible in order to make room for the next flight.  When a plane arrives, guide it down the runway, move it over to the terminal, and then direct it to another open runway to make sure it leaves on time. For each successful flight, you will earn points that can be used for a multiple amount things that I will explain in a bit.

Aside from just moving planes from one place to another,  there sometimes might be a little extra work that needs to be done before take off. Each specific action that the player is supposed to perform is indicated by a bubble that appears above a planes head. This could include things like a wrench indicating that a repair is needed, a gas nozzle to let you know that the vehicle is out fuel, and so on. Be sure to keep a close on eye on these things because if you leave these tasks on the back burner for too long, the planes will become annoyed with you and leave, which in turn will lower the overall ranking of the stage, and take away any amount of points that could have been earned for performing that task correctly.

The controls themselves are simple and easy to understand, and only require a tap of the DS stylus to perform each command. Playing each level becomes a task in having good memory and organizational skills to make sure everything goes where it’s supposed to go. Thank god that there is a very helpful upgrade system included that can make this a much less torturous ordeal. Remember those points I talked about earlier?, well, here is where they come in handy. Players can use these points to unlock different upgrades such as extra parking areas for planes, faster loading times at terminals, extra runways, etc. One more thing, this game only took me a few hours to beat, but there is enough replay value here, which comes in the form of medals and trophies that can be earned in each stage, to keep gamers coming back for more.

Graphics: Simple and basic, but does what it needs to do, and nothing more. The planes look adorable, and are wonderfully animated, and the levels themselves, while simple, are easy on the eyes as well. One thing I have to note here is that the developers did a great job with making things easy to look at by separating everything into different groups of colors. This made managing each and every step of the gameplay process that much easier, great job guys.

Sound: The sound effects that the planes, and all of the little different stations make are spot on, and are a delight to listen to. Soundtrack offerings include light melodies that give off a certain feeling of relaxation so that the player doesn’t always have to feel stressed out because they have so much to do to begin with.

Wishes or Changes: A multiplayer mode would have been a nice addition, the developers could have given us the ability to upload our scores to online leaderboards, and the game could have taken a little bit longer to beat (around 4 hours or so), but other than that, there is nothing I can think of that I would like to have seen changed to make this a better experience overall.

TQ Bottom Line: To put simply, Airport Mania: First Flight is one of the most addictive games that I have ever played for the DSiWare service. The easy to understand controls, combined with a deep gameplay concept, and tons of replay value makes this an easy recommendation to anybody out there who enjoys putting their organizational skills to the test. For a mere two bucks, there is no reason that DSi or 3DS owners can give me to say that this isn’t worth the money, because it’s a blast.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 Michelas

Airport Mania: First Flight
Reflexive Entertainment
 Lemon Games
Metacritic: N/A
MSRP: 200 DSiWare Points ($1.99)