SimAirport - Review - Xbox
I absolutely love a good Sim game. Ever since Sim Theme Park and Theme Hospital days i'm a sucker for a game where I can oversee and manage a business, build it up from the ground up and make it a success. Well publisher UltimateGames have brought us SimAirport to Xbox consoles - a port of the 2020 PC game from LVGameDev LLC. Will this airport management game fly high, or will it crash and burn?
SimAirport will see you playing through a career mode as you try to build up your airports, but if you want something a little less structured there is also a sandbox mode where you can build your perfect airport with unlimited funds. The game features over 16 different aircraft including turboprop to turbine and 15 different airlines for all you aviation lovers out there and there is a comprehensive tutorial to get you up to speed that I highly recommend you go through before jumping in feet first.
There are so many things you get to do in the game. Below is literally a list of all the awesome features in the game:
Construct your terminal, hire staff, sign airline contracts, tweak the daily flight schedule, configure standby gate availability, plan & design your infrastructure -- bag handling systems, roads & taxiways, fuel systems, runways, gates, hangars, service vehicles, and everything in between. Deeply simulated gameplay where each detail makes an impact -- down to the trash cans.
Simple & familiar controls for a smooth takeoff The starter airport helps get aircraft landing & cash flowing almost immediately. Aim for profitability by scaling up, but remember: more passengers, more problems! Getting 2,000 pax out is easy. Avoiding bottlenecks for 10k+ pax will likely require different tactics!
Large & complex airports require extremely smart designs. Moving walkways, multi-story structures, additional terminals, one-way taxiways, staggered schedules, and careful standby gate allocation -- these are but a sampling of the concepts you'll leverage on your way to truly mastering the art of large-scale airport operations. One size does NOT fit all. It seems simple, placing restrooms or retail areas for instance -- but it's more than meets the eye! Pax may become distracted when seating or interesting services require a long walk or are far from their gate! Carefully consider the details to truly maximize your efficiency and reap the profits.
Happy Pax, Happy Airline. Getting flights out on-time is only part of the battle. Ensuring passengers catch their flight is another. When operations run smoothly & pax are all happily catching their flights you can be pretty sure that the airlines are probably satisfied, too! If you keep the airlines happy you can probably raise prices without creating too much fuss -- and that leads to bigger profits!
Comprehensive Fuel System Simulation Fuel can be a profitable saving grace or you may even decide to sell at-or-below cost as a loss-leader tactic in your effort to gain favor with airlines. Leverage the Fuel Marketplace as much as you can, too -- with enough capacity you may be able to cash in on any arbitrage opportunities that present themselves which can provide a welcome capital infusion. Deeply Simulated Baggage Handling Systems Conveyor to carousel, every single bag is tracked -- watch as each piece of luggage makes its journey. Losing bags is a sure way to upset an individual pax, but it also starts causing issues with the airline when occurring often. Bag handling systems can be quite complicated and you definitely don't want to become a case study like KDEN has! Take it slow and plan ahead -- building a highly efficient baggage handling operation is no easy task and requires careful planning!
Pax Info Systems Info displays, kiosks, and public address speaker systems complete with Electronics zones to house the required amplifiers. Keep pax informed and they'll have a greater sense of urgency as their departure time nears and they're be far less likely to needlessly wander from their gate.
Robust Queues Extremely powerful queue system provides you with full control. Supports numerous configurations include 'one-to-many' desks, to assign a single queue to multiple service stations. Optionally allows restrictions to be set per queue to allow/restrict certain types of people from using the queue (First Class, Coach, and Flight Crew) which you can leverage to create expedited queues for operational efficiency purposes.
The game runs very smoothly on the Xbox Series X, however that's probably because the graphics on offer here are very basic. The game looks like an old PC/Flash game with its low quality artwork and simple character models all shown in 2D. The audio is also very lacking and I would recommend putting the radio or a playlist on as you play as otherwise you will be sat in relative silence for most of the time. Now my complaints on the graphics/audio do not take away from the gameplay in any way. The core gameplay is great but when you look at other games in the genre that are releasing around the same time you can definitely see the difference. The PC version of the game does offer alot of Steam Workshop support so I would assume the graphics lean more into the way they do for players to have easy customisation/mod support. Unfortunately there is no player created support on the console ports.
SimAirport is an enjoyable airport management game that gives you a nice change from the onslaught of first person 3D simulation games that seem to be flooding the market at the moment. You are able to customise your airport and hopefully take it to great success but the game overall felt much simpler to play than other sim games I have tried recently (and that's a positive)! My main complaints lie with the audio and graphics, they do the job for a sim but are lacking, especially in the audio department. TOTAL SCORE: 7/10
SimAirport was released onto the Xbox store on the 24th February 20223. The game is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. Priced at £16.74 you can purchase the game HERE. A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks for that.