Live the dream!
This is the first in a series of management sims that continued with Airport Tycoon 2
and Airport Tycoon 3
but like its brethren, this one isn't much fun and you're better off sticking with SimCity
or Transport Tycoon on Mars
for your business strategy entertainment. The idea is sound, if a little specialist in nature, but it's let down by poor execution and which makes it one best left alone. As you'd expect, you're thrown into the role of an airport manager but it's your job to take care of everything, from choosing the initial site to adding in features, looking after the day to day running of the place and picking up new contracts to ensure you stay profitable. You'll start out with the essentials, like runways, hangars and so on, before moving on to the amenities like restaurants, bars, security gates in order to make your airport complete. You've got a number of real locations to choose from, from America to Europe and beyond, while there are also lots of real world airlines to deal with and which gives the game a sense of realism. In theory, this could have been an interesting management sim, as there's plenty of scope for strategic thinking and personalization and which should have resulted in a satisfying experience. However, a number of problems let things down. The presentation is poor and very confusing, with an interface which is frustrating to navigate, while there's an over reliance on micromanagement which again bogs things down and makes them tedious where they should be fun. The visuals are good but not enough to save this from being one for dedicated airplane fans only.