App Review: Airport Mania: First Flight is a Lesson in Multi-Tasking
Airport Mania is a unique game for all ages. You are the air traffic controller for an airport. As planes approach the airport, you must schedule them for landing, assign them a gate to load and unload passengers, and schedule them for takeoff again when they are ready. Sounds easy enought, right? The challenge comes when you add in the fact that some planes will need gas, others will need repairs, and sometimes there seem to be more planes on the ground than there are places to park them. You earn points for each task that is completed and bonus points if you keep the planes running on time or ahead of schedule.
When you first launch the game, you create a profile for yourself by entering your name. You then proceed through a short tutorial to teach you how to be an air traffic controller. The explanations are simple and easy to understand. The controls are also very simple. You select a plane by tapping it and then tap the place that you want to schedule it to go. You can even schedule them several steps in advance. For example, you can tap on a plane in the air and then tap a runway and a gate. The plane will land and proceed to its assigned gate to unload passengers. It is easy to tell what the planes need because of the bubbles that pop up above their heads when they need you to move them on to the next step. It is not, however, easy to keep up with all of their demands. If you do not keep up and the planes fall behind schedule, the happy meter above their heads starts to fall and they start to get upset. If a plane gets too upset, it may leave to find another airport.
As you earn points, you can use the points to upgrade your airport. You can buy upgrades to your gates and runways that make them faster. You can add luxuries for the planes to keep them happier, as well as adding additional gates, runways, and layover spaces to help deal with the volume of traffic your airport is receiving. For special feats that you accomplish, you can earn awards. There are 8 stages of game play, each with its own airport, and several rounds of play in each stage. Thus, the game play can go on for hours and hours.
Airport Mania is truly a challenge in multi-tasking. The graphics are cute and the game is well-done. It is simple enough for kids to play and challenging enough to keep adults on their toes.
Airport Mania is $0.99 in the iTunes App Store.