Published by Sonic Powered, Developed by -
Genres: Simulation (1 players)
US release date: Mar 27th, 2014 | EU release date: -
Prices: $19.99 (US)
The Men Who Stare at Planes
Review written by
July 22nd, 2014
Alright, kiddies, gather around, Griffin's going to tell you whippersnappers a story.
It was years ago, when your old pal G-Money had first joined the Boy Scouts of America. My Troop was at Hondo Air Base learning about planes and trying to lay claim to the MacGuffin that was the Aviation merit badge. After getting to fly in a fighter jet and watching paratroopers severely injure themselves (true story), we were packed into a small, decrepit room sweltering even by Texas standards. There, an equally small and decrepit man waited with some busted doohickeys and pictures, and as soon as we were settled, he began teaching us about plane instruments.
Not once during the 4 hours we were in that room did he move anything but his mouth, and not once did he alter his volume or tone of voice to anything mildly human. We all just sat there, slowly dying, sweating, too bored to muster the strength necessary to merely sip water. By the time he finished, over two-thirds of the scouts had fallen asleep. I did not learn anything during that lecture related to planes, and I certainly didn't have fun.
I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Hawaii, or I.a.a.A.T.C.A.H.H. for short, felt like this lecture down to the T. It gives you a bunch of plane doohickeys and well-crafted systems, but it takes too much damn time. Now, before I get all sarcastic and vindictive, lets look at the positives. The game will take some time to beat, as later levels do get more challenging and 'hectic', or as hectic as a kid-friendly game about parking planes can get. The graphics are visually appealing and colorful, if not reused ad nauseum.
Now, onto the bile you've all patiently waited for.
In terms of gameplay, you are an air traffic controller. You make sure planes don't hit each other and mostly sit around doing nothing. Yippee.
In terms of sound, you have some plane noises, traffic control gibberish, and elevator music. Get pumped.
There's no story mode, no funny little twists, nothing but trying to keep planes from crashing into each other. It would be fine if there were checkpoints within the challenges the game comes with, but unfortunately, if these flying metal monsters decide to butt heads, you're back to the beginning of the mission which, as stated earlier, can be excruciatingly long.
Look, maybe you're the kind of guy who's dreamt his entire life of being an air traffic controller but are simply unable to avoid destroying the aircraft and killing innocent people, and are forever resigned to playing flight simulators while drinking heavily and imagining the beautiful life you could have had; go nuts with this game, I won't hold you back. You will love it. It's realistic to how air traffic control works, and the airport you work for is a faithful replica of the Hawaii national airport.
If you're anyone else (i.e. not a part of this hyperbolic niche), "I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Ha-WHY-i?" is likely not your cup of tea. This is the kind of game where the consumer will have already decided whether or not they will enjoy it before they even picked up their 3DS. Personally, I didn't like it; it was boring, frustrating, and the concept just seems antithetical to what makes a game fun. A game, I think, is fun because the player wants to keep going. This game is like work, where you HAVE to keep going or you're back to square one.
And that's just not fun, not in the air, not while eating a bun.
This game's a bit grating, and deserves to be shunned.
I'm Griffin Cost, and put PLANE-ly, I'm done.
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