I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Hawaii Image
Metascore
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  • Summary: he stage of the game is Hawaii! Lets try air traffic control in an atmosphere of a summer resort!

    Honolulu international Airport has four runways as well as two floating ones, and it is a lively place where various types of aircrafts come and go such as international and domestic flights,
    he stage of the game is Hawaii! Lets try air traffic control in an atmosphere of a summer resort!

    Honolulu international Airport has four runways as well as two floating ones, and it is a lively place where various types of aircrafts come and go such as international and domestic flights, flights within the island, cargo planes, water planes, and light aircrafts.

    The game is fun to play as an air traffic control simulation game, and it also gives the player the sense of the real Hawaii with its colorful, expressive sceneries.

    Please enjoy those vividly recreated landscapes of the airport and the aircrafts specially available only on Nintendo 3DS with the tropical-themed BGM!
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  1. Feb 27, 2015
    7
    First off, this game is absolutely not for everyone. Many people will find this reasonably realistic simulation of being an air trafficFirst off, this game is absolutely not for everyone. Many people will find this reasonably realistic simulation of being an air traffic controller extremely boring. That said, if you're into simulation games and have a bit of patience, Airport Hero can actually be very enjoyable and rewarding. Luckily, there is a demo for you to determine if this game appeals to you.

    Before I go any further, I want to note that in the demo you can't adjust the music volume and it drowns out the dialog. You CAN adjust the music volume in the full game, and I always keep it off because the dialog is actually very important.

    Airport Hero has you managing all of the basic duties of an air traffic controller. You will approve planes for arrival or departure, tell them what runway to use, tell them when to taxi, which taxi routes to use, when to cross a runway, which runways to use, and which hangers to park at. You don't have to remember *when* to do anything, because each aircraft will contact you when it's ready for the next step.

    Each aircraft has a button on the touch screen. When an aircraft is awaiting orders, you'll a notification icon on its button. Tap the button, and you're shown a list of responses. At some stages, there might only be two options ("Cleared for Takeoff" or "Stand by") while at other times you might have a list of half-a-dozen taxi routes or runways to choose from. There is a lot of decision making involved, and on later levels you *will* need to make good decisions to succeed.

    Proper management of your airport requires you to carefully plan which runways to use, remember who is going where, and manage your time effectively. If you accidentally clear a 747 for takeoff on runway 4R right as a PA-28 is landing there, they might collide, causing you to fail the level. Plan your taxi routes badly and watch as two 767s haplessly taxi into a head-on collision. Although this can occasionally be frustrating (there is no way to tell a taxi-ing aircraft to back up to avoid a crash) it also adds a lot of excitement to the game. You wouldn't expect an air traffic control game to get your adrenaline going, but it's exhilarating when you cut things too close and one plane successfully takes off just yards ahead of the one landing behind it, or two plans miss a midair collision with only a few feet of clearance.

    Levels typically last a half-hour of real-time, just long enough to make those narrow escapes extremely gratifying without making failures too painful.

    Adding another layer of depth is that the ATC is broken into 5 channels (approach control, tower control, ground control, delivery control, and departure control). Each stage of an incoming or outgoing aircraft is handled by a specific channel. Each channel can only send one message at a time, and this is where time management really comes into play. You are penalized points whenever you make a specific plane wait too long for instructions, so it's important to plan ahead on timing. Sometimes you'll want to send a plane on the longest possible route to the furthest runway for takeoff just so you don't need to worry about them for the next five minutes. You don't want two aircraft requesting final clearance for landing at exactly the same time, because one might miss their landing window while you're giving orders to the other, so you have one of them take a wide circle around the airport to buy the other time to land.

    At the start, the game is somewhat slow paced, and you might find yourself staring at a 747 flying in a straight line for several minutes with no orders to give. By later levels you'll be managing up to ten aircraft at once and frantically bouncing between aircraft to send messages.

    At times the difficulty can get overwhelming. You need to achieve a minimum score to beat each level, and sometimes the one-message-per-channel limitation can really screw you when you've got 4 planes simultaneously needing a message from the ground channel and it's simply not possible to take care of them all in time to avoid a penalty. Some of the later levels can only be beaten through trial-and-error (although you might find it helpful to pause and take notes on who's using what runway). In one level I encountered a serious design flaw where a particular aircraft could not land at a specific runway because the clearance window was less than three seconds; in order to hit that window I had to ignore all of the other aircraft and took too many penalties to pass the level (after many attempts I just had him land on a different runway). It can be difficult enough just to finish a level with no crashes, so I wish they hadn't implemented the minimum score on top of that.

    Despite a few misgivings about scoring and difficulty, I really enjoyed the hell out of this game, and would recommend it to anyone interested in sim games or air travel. Not only is it an enjoyable game, but you'll learn a lot about what it really takes to manage air traffic.
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