Developer: Vivarium / Level-5
Review Platform: 3DS Download
Also Available On: N/A
Release Date: 29/11/12
Genre: Simulation / Strategy
Airports are tedious. They’re full of queuing, rushing and, if you’re like me and are nervous about flying, airports are also full of worrying. Aeroporter is similar in a way. It’s a game full of waiting, hurrying and stress. But I’d struggle to call Aeroporter tedious. Frequently frustrating, sure, but never tedious.
Aeroporter is about sorting luggage and loading it onto flights. If that hasn’t got your heart racing then I don’t know what will. Okay fine, who are we kidding? It isn’t the most thrilling sounding concept, admittedly, but it makes for an intriguing and deceptively devilish little puzzle game. The puzzle plays out as items join the multi-tiered luggage carousal. It is your job to control the carousal by raising and lowering the ramp to move luggage between each level so as to ensure that each item is loaded onto the correct flight. You gain plenty of other tools that you can use to achieve this goal as the game progresses. While doing all this, it is crucial to keep an eye on your fuel lest the lights go out. Throw in Presidential and VIP packages that need special treatment and suspicious packages that you need to dispose of and you’ve got yourself a fantastically deep puzzle game.
The graphics, in contrast, are completely minimalist but this can only be described as an advantage as you will want nothing distracting you when it gets particularly frantic. And it will get frantic a lot and you will get frustrated at your own ineptitude a lot. Aeroporter is the most stressful of games. You can expect plenty of ticking offs in the “daily reports” that you receive after each session.
This stress is why I’m not sure where I land on Aeroporter (Land, eh? Eh?!). I respect it immensely. It’s very clever and superbly well designed. I’m not sure I can fault that. However, I’m not sure how much fun I actually had with it. I found the frantic nature of the game, even from an early stage, deeply frustrating. It’s certainly compelling though. Aeroporter is a game that you want to get better at because you appreciate it so much. When you master it, you feel like some kind of luggage sorting god. But to get consistently competent at it, you need impressive amounts of concentration and dedication. I don’t want to give the wrong impression; the game is difficult but not incredibly so. It is just incredibly effective at simulating stress.
Aeroporter is a difficult game to recommend. Some of you will hate it and some of you will love it. If you’re patient, I’d say that you should probably give Aeroporter a go. You will probably reap the awards. The price is reasonable and you’ll struggle to find a puzzle game that is more interesting, at the very least, from a design perspective. If you’re easily frustrated, give it a miss. This game will stress you out.
Many thanks to Level-5 for providing us with a review code.
Aero Porter is now available in Nintendo eShop for 3DS.