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|Title:||Airport Mania: First Flight|
|Rating:||4 out of 5|
In a word, Airport Mania: First Flight is cute. I hate to say it, but it's true. Cheerful and cartoon-like, it's a fun game that creates an addiction to air traffic control. With multiple levels and a fully upgradable airport, this game has quite a bit to offer little kids (it's target audience judging from the cartoonish graphics) as well as their parents. But don't think it won't present a good challenge for all.
Originally a PC game, Airport Mania is deceptively simple, yet has enough options to make it a lot of fun to play. It's all about resource management and making decisions as an Air Traffic Controller. Which plane to land first, choosing an available runway, selecting a gate, re-fueling and repairs are all components to keeping your airport running smoothly. In other words you have to make quick decisions or your planes get pissed. No, really- they get angry little faces if you make them wait too long.
Get 3 friends and gather around the TV for a really slick 4-player game. You can start off with a tutorial mode that will show you all aspects of landing, taxiing, deplaning, refueling and takeoff. From there you can explore up to 15 levels at each of 8 airports. It feels overly simplistic at the outset, but as you upgrade your airport you'll soon see how complex this game can become. You'll find yourself cursing those cartoonish planes as they sit there smiling back at you. Grrrrr!
Many games that require pointing at objects on the screen are a tad janky - they usually evoke wobbles and blur on the screen. Airport Mania does NOT suffer this affliction. The pointer is dead-on and creates a great way to interact with objects on the screen. Everything is point-n-click from selecting planes, runways, gates, layovers and repairs. Click your "A" button to select a plane or location and use "B" to cancel it. This simplicity makes the busier times a little less stressful.
After each level, you are taken to the store where you can use your earnings to upgrade everything from adding runways and gates to layover spaces. You can even buy short range radar... which you'll need to do in order to later get longrange radar. And don't think you're just responsible for the passengers aboard each plane. Some flights have special circumstances from carrying the President to transplant organs. These cartoon planes aren't fucking around. This shit can get real - fast :)
We found multiplayer games a little overwhelming since play is simultaneous. Having 4 cursors floating around the screen can be a bit much. Either way, airport Mania: First Flight will keep you on your toes and is a real gem at only 500 WiiWare points.
The only negative side we see really isn't a fault or problem with the game itself. The game's sound and graphics give it a decidedly childish look that will most likely make many people pass it over without giving it a chance to see how grand it is in terms of game play. It's cheap and a helluva lot of fun. Give it a try!
Airport Mania offers a lot of realism and would rightly be classified as a simulation game even though the planes smile cheerfully when treated well. However, anyone who flies frequently in the real world will quickly see some elements that should have been added.
Safety is the primary goal of air traffic control, but is limited to the planes themselves in this game. ATC personell are overworked, underpaid and have to safely monitor and assist more and more planes every year. These stressful tensions are well integrated into the often frantic pace you'll encounter playing this game.
Airport Mania: First Flight does a good job of putting the player in the control tower, but we all know that planes are only safe if the passengers have been properly groped, cavity searched and photographed in the nude.
A passenger can't pass a security checkpoint wearing shoes, coats or hats, so obviously safety cannot be achieved without proper inspection of nut-sacks, fur wallets and anal crevasses. Once security was stepped up to prevent weapons and explosives from boarding planes in coat pockets and shoes, the next logical hiding places are scrotums and any inwardly facing canal.
We are lucky to live in a world where our safety is so sacred, that all testicles are squeezed to discern they are indeed filled with sperm and not C4. And that a woman's internal buzzing be caused by the g-spot tingling Doc Johnson, not a "maniacal Dr. Death". Scrotal bombings and vaginal IEDs raise serious concerns along with anally implanted trigger switches.
I always feel confident flying when I hear security personell giggling at the size of my penis as they tag my digital dick-shot they snapped for their Facebook page. Satellites in space can do facial recognition and dogs can smell cocaine a half-mile away, so it was an obvious necessity to spend billions of dollars to create the x-ray glasses we all wanted to buy from the back of comic books in the 70's to "see" girls au naturale. These "body scanners" are the pinnacle of technology that Larry Flint regrets not patenting.
I'm not too concerned about safety inside the airport, but I do have a question for security experts: How many hair-pies and nut-sacks have to be squeezed & prodded at an internal check-point to determine if a radical lunatic is waiting a half-mile away outside the airport with an RPG?
For any federal government workers tasked with reading this page due to "expert analysis of predetermined keywords"... Lighten up - this is a joke!
Sorry for that long tangent...
We love Airport Mania: First Flight on WiiWare and highly recommend you dive into the experience and enjoy a uniquely enjoyable game.
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