Posts Tagged ‘computer game’

Advent reviews: Now Boarding

Now Boarding is a causal computer game about running an airport and an  airline.

What kind of game is this?

In Now Boarding, you are cast as the administrator of an airport. You will have access to the waiting area and the take-off lane of your own airport, and you will see a number of other airports on a map. The game takes place in a series of “months”. Each month, a number of passengers will appear in your airports and the airports you have unlocked. You will need to load the passengers in your airport unto your airplanes, then fly them out to their destinations while at the same time picking up passengers at remote airports and flying them to their destinations.

Delivered passengers earns you money that can be spent on better ships, more destinations and equipment for your waiting area that will keep people happy. You can also hire people to carry out certain tasks for you: group passengers according to destination, keep them happy while they wait, load them onto airplanes and drag airplanes from terminal to landing strip and from landing strip to terminal. All things you could do, but as you get more destinations, more passengers and more planes, help becomes necessary.

The game takes place on a series of maps. Each map has a set of objectives, after which you can move on to the next, more complicated, map.

How many people should you play this with?

Well, one. It’s a single player game.

What do I think of this game?

This game was enjoyable for a few hours while I played through the maps. It is not, however, a very complicated game. The difficulty of the game mostly comes from overwhelming you with huge numbers of passengers, rather than from making forcing you to make hard strategic decisions. This is fine, but can’t keep me interested for long. The game is cheap, so if you want a few hours of intense, logistical pastime, you could do far worse.

A few interesting things to note

  • During a level, you will gradually change what you are doing. In the beginning, you will be mostly be manually loading passengers and sending off planes, but you will gradually be spending more and more of your attention to planning routes, letting employees take care of the dirty work. This is fine, except that it makes it difficult to start a new map, as you start with no employees. Suddenly, you must remember to do all of the manual labour yourself once more. I can’t decide if I think that counts as poor game design or not.
  • The more airports you fly to, the more difficult it gets to go everywhere in a timely fashion. I found myself often buying access to the last airports needed to win me the game in a big heap. I would term that somewhat poor design, as it means I have an incentive to not “finish” a level, but instead take a shortcut.