Do you miss Hotel City on Facebook? If you long for the days when you could build individual guest suites, restaurants and other entertainment facilities for your hotel's tourists, you can now recapture some of that same gameplay in Chillingo's newest mobile game: Aero Vacation on iPhone or iPad. Aero Vacation's gameplay is incredibly similar to that of Hotel City, except that instead of building a sky-rise hotel on the ground, you'll be building a massive airship in the clouds.
You'll start with a fairly small Airship at first, capable of holding a few suites, a restaurant, library, and a hot springs, along with a few other items of your choosing. There's a lengthy tutorial that guides you through the game's first few levels, including an introduction to the game's energy system. Before you panic, the game's energy doesn't limit you to completing a specific number of tasks before needing to wait for it to recharge, rather, the energy is used to upgrade facilities so that they earn more money in the same amount of time, helping your progress that much faster.
The game's quest system will often help you along as well, by asking you to construct very specific items in your Airship, or by asking you to travel from one location to the next. As you level up, you'll have the chance to fly your Airship to all sorts of world-wide locations, ranging from London and Paris to Barcelona, Cairo and beyond. Different locations require different amounts of time and money to reach, but by traveling the world, you'll unlock access to new rooms in your Airship that you wouldn't be able to unlock otherwise.
Gallery: Aero Vacation on iOS
Thankfully, you can still interact with the buildings within your Airship as you're traveling, gaining profits and experience points along the way. You'll unlock new spaces by clearing out the junk of former storage rooms, or can simply expand your Airship to the left or right by purchasing coins. There's a bit too much of a reliance on the use of premium currency in Aero Vacation, which can be used to unlock premium rooms in your Airship, hurry up the construction or cleaning of an area, speed up your travel from one city to the next and much more. If you're willing to be patient and wait for everything to complete naturally, you'll eventually make the same amount of progress as if you had paid to get there early, but it still feels as though the premium options are more intrusive than not.
It's interesting that another game developer would attempt to create a profitable experience using the Hotel City template, since that particular Facebook game lost its popularity and was ultimately closed. Perhaps Chillingo and Black Pearl believe that the game's mobile setup will work better for this particular style of play, but it still seems a bit odd to craft a new game around a formula that has failed in the past. Either way, if Aero Vacation seems like one flight you'd like to take, grab a seat and download the game for free now from iTunes.
Click here to download Aero Vacation on iTunes --->
What do you think of Aero Vacation on iOS? Did you play Hotel City on Facebook? How do you think the two games compare? Sound off in the comments.