I have to admit I’m not a fan of airports. Fighting for an overpriced parking space, disrobing for a perfect stranger at security, and being herded on to a cramped airplane are just not my idea of a good time. So, when I saw the title Airport Mania: First Flight I was skeptical that one of my least favorite places could be turned into the setting for a fun game. But my fears quickly subsided as I began to play the iPhone version of this highly addictive, instantly adorable multi-tasking (time management) game from Reflexive Entertainment.
Like Diner Dash or Sally’s Salon and other high quality multi-tasking games, Airport Mania: First Flight is fast and furious fun. When you play on your iPhone, you’re using your fingers instead of clicking the mouse, but that’s about the only difference in the game play. The object of the game is to learn to fly, land, load, fuel and repair a variety of planes on time. I guess you’d say you’re playing the role of the air traffic controller, but in a cartoon-like environment where the planes have a personality (and faces!).
You have to plan where to land the plane and allow time for the passengers to disembark. Then you wait for the new passengers to embark onto the plane. If you do really well in getting your tasks done on time, you get money which you can use to buy upgrades.
The game is nicely balanced, starting out with relatively easy tasks, graduating to the more advanced maneuvers. Challenges and obstacles are things like foggy runways and icy conditions that make landing more difficult, but you earn more money when you perform the harder tasks. The game is simple enough to be fun and yet challenging enough to keep you interested.
Airport Mania: First Flight is truly a casual game, fun for all ages and types of people. The cartoon artwork might be little too “cutesy” for some, but I loved it. I really enjoyed the expressions on the faces of the airplanes, and I came to care about them as characters rather than cold, metal, inanimate objects. Some of the planes are friendly and patient. Some are restless and grumpy. But they all have personality, and that’s what makes it fun.
The music is relaxing and fun to have on while you’re playing, even though there is constant action. The sound effects are terrific. The planes “talk,” adding another dimension to their personalities. The airport sounds are realistic. While the graphics are small to accommodate screen size, they are bright and clear and never difficult to see or understand.
Airport Mania: First Flight is smoothly designed and well programmed as I experienced no glitches or freezes as I do with many iPhone applications. I promise you’ll never be bored as this game is full of action and a variety of levels to play. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but playing this game will let you experience something I don’t think is possible in the real world: airport fun.