First released on Android devices, Game Insight's Airport City HD has now landed on iPad, offering you a chance to build and upgrade an international airport, sending and accepting planes on/from flights all around the world. The game combines touches of city-building with airport management, but is unfortunately a bit more slow-moving than we would have expected.
Airport City asks you to start small, placing propeller-powered airplanes inside small hangers, and limiting your air travel to just a few locations. Round trip flights are categorized based on the time it takes for them to return, the amount of passengers you'll need before sending the flight, and the amount of fuel you'll need to actually power the jet for take off. These flights can last anywhere from a matter of minutes to hours, but you'll be able to accept guest planes in your airport to give you something to do while waiting for your own flights to return.
Guest flights offer bonus coins, experience points and collectibles to your game, but they also require almost as many resources to send back out again, not to mention holding your limited runway slots hostage while you're earning the resources necessary to send them on their way.
You'll earn passengers, coins and fuel (all considered kinds of currency) by completing quests that ask you to send planes to specific locations, purchase new and more powerful kinds of planes, additional runways and so on, or you can earn them through themed buildings within your city. Homes produce passengers, factories can produce fuel and businesses produce coins, as examples. Your space for building both the airport and city are small at first, but can be expanded. Of course, to expand either area, you'll need to stop progression on almost everything else and solely concentrate on earning the coins / premium currency necessary to actually expand.
As most airport structures can be upgraded to be more productive, players will most likely desire to rearrange items to offer a better flow for planes to move to and from hangers and out onto the runway. Perhaps the game's biggest issue is the way in which it handles moving or selling items, as you'll only be able to move or sell a single item while the appropriate tool is activated, and must then go back into the options menu to activate the tool again before selling or moving another item. This is a tedious setup that simply doesn't feel right on the mobile platform, which allows for much more "effortless" design and streamlined play. Unfortunately, many of the game's menus are equally overly complicated, forcing you to put in a lot of time in just activating a single airplane launch, as you'll constantly need to collect fuel or passengers to activate planes for takeoff.
If Airport City HD placed more focus on building a successful town alongside a successful airport, perhaps the game's many issues might be more manageable, as you'd have more gameplay to focus on while your planes are all in the air. Unfortunately, the city-building aspect of Airport City HD almost feels like an afterthought, since the game needed to give you ways to earn coins, passengers and fuel for free, but no real effort was put into making it a more interesting experience. Add all of this to an electricity system that constantly slows your progress as you must build turbines, solar plants, electric companies and more to provide more energy to your town (required before purchasing almost anything in the store), and you have a game that works against itself at almost every turn. This definitely isn't Game Insight's greatest outing, but you can now give it a shot on iPad if you want to see how it works for you.
Click here to download Airport City HD on iPad ----->
Have you tried Airport City HD on Android or iPad? What do you think of this airport simulation game on mobile? Are there other airport or flying games that perform better? Sound off in the comments!