If you’ve ever boarded a plane at a big airport and wondered about what it takes to coordinate multiple flights coming and going, ensuring passengers board their flights safely, and making sure flights both depart and arrive on time, MS Games’ recently released AirportSim may be a good fit for you. Developed by MS Games and MK Studios and published by Iceberg Interactive, AirportSim is a simulation game that lets you experience life as an airport employee who is looking after an airport’s busy day-to-day ground operations.
Complete with true-to-life visuals, the game comes with four different airports and a number of licensed vehicles and planes; while vehicles include specific models for catering trucks and passenger busses, for example, licensed planes include the 737 Max and the Airbus A320neo. To make things feel more realistic, the developers have also collaborated closely with a number of airlines to include branded airplanes from WizzAir, Norwergian Airlines, Atlantic Airways, and more.
Gameplay-wise, AirportSim features both a single-player and an online co-op mode, as well as a range of scenarios and challenges, and a free play mode. While different challenge modes will have you completing a range of tasks within a certain time limit, the game’s free play mode allows you to follow your feet around without the game punishing you for any missed work tasks. The specific tasks you’ll perform as an employee will typically vary from playthrough to playthrough, but overall there are over ten different core tasks to complete during a run: marshalling, completing the ‘follow me’ process, putting chocks and cones down, looking after a plane’s GPU, refuelling, delivering the catering, connecting the jetways and passenger stairs, driving different shuttle busses, and handling luggage.
“The level of realism is incredibly impressive.”
If you’re not familiar with any of these processes or airport terms, don’t fret: the game comes with a dedicated tutorial for each task, where you learn about the different steps that go into each process, before having to perform them under pressure. Each tutorial is relatively short and chunks the different processes up into smaller, more digestible steps, making it accessible for players who may not be across the ins and outs of airport operations. Tasks themselves feel pretty realistic too: you’ll find yourself marshaling a plane to a gate relatively slowly to ensure everything happens smoothly, for example, and to drive trucks around the runway, you’ll actually have to enter a vehicle and turn the key in the ignition before you can drive off.
To keep track of everything during gameplay, you’ll have access to a dedicated tablet, where you can monitor both arriving and departing flights, passenger and luggage needs, as well as any real-time weather conditions. While the game’s weather is calculated using the METAR weather report system – a common format for reporting on weather info in the aviation industry – you also have the option of manipulating the weather yourself. Want an easy day? Opt for clear skies. Want a challenge? Make it rain in a matter of seconds. This, coupled with the easy monitoring system through the game’s tablet, makes AirportSim a fun place to try out different scenarios and experiment on your own, or together with other players in online co-op.
For the more initiated airplane fans, this level of variety coupled with the authentic depiction of different airports, and the realistic nature of different airport procedures, will undoubtedly add to the overall gameplay experience. The level of realism is incredibly impressive, and, in this sense, it’s easy to see where the experience of the developers shines through; with a team comprising of folks who worked on mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator and Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D, it’s clear that the developing team greatly values authenticity. No wonder that, as part of the game’s development, the developers conducted interviews with multiple real ground-handling staff members about their experiences to ensure the overall game felt realistic.
Thanks to this commitment to realism, AirportSim is sure to be enjoyable for both seasoned airplane aficionados, and folks who are merely curious about the inner workings of a bustling airport. No matter whether you’re an expert in the aviation industry or you’re just keen to learn, if you’re a fan of simulation games, AirportSim is sure to offer up an engaging gameplay experience that’s not to be missed.