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Game Info:

Airport Madness: Time Machine
Developed by: Big Fat Simulations Inc.
Published by: Big Fat Simulations Inc.
Release date: Sep 18, 2015
Available on: Windows, Mac OS X
Genre: Sim/Strategy
Number of players: Single-player
Price: $6.99

When I first saw Airport Madness: Time Machine in my Steam library, I installed it because it was small, a mere 63MB hard drive space required. I don’t always need a huge AAA game to play, sometimes I enjoy smaller ones. It also allows for a much greater variety if I’m ever needing to waste a few minutes. Due to it being so small I had some expectations; The graphics... well, they wouldn't be very good, and it would probably be short. For such a small package, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Airport Madness: Time Machine.

The premise of Airport Madness: Time Machine is that you're an air traffic controller traveling through time. There are three eras that you play through on your journey, each with its own style and music. You're responsible for making sure the planes are taking off and landing safely in each time period. You control the planes through basic adjustments, speeding up, slowing down, and adjusting where a plane flies, lands, or takes off. Each option has a hotkey 1-5 and you will use those hotkeys often.

You start the game in the 1920s and play through the 1970s. In this era, you will encounter many different models of airplanes that coincide with the year you’re in. After playing through history you jump to the 1800s for “What could have been.” Here you will encounter what you would expect in a steampunk world, with fictional planes and other flying things. To finish the game off, you will go to the future to “What could be” where you will encounter “The most efficient airport in the world” and futuristic airplanes to match.

Airport Madness: Time Machine
Highlights:

Strong Points: Challenging and entertaining; good for a quick play
Weak Points: Buggy; short; outdated graphics
Moral Warnings: Cartoon explosions when planes collide

While it's a very simple game, it is by no means a very easy one. You’ve got planes coming at different speeds, to different runways, all the while you’ve got others that are taxying or preparing to take off. When you first start the game, you’ve got one runway and light traffic, but every level something new happens with your airport. It may be an expansion that adds a new runway or a new terminal or factory that increases traffic or routes for the planes to taxi. What is initially simple becomes complex quickly. You will have to master having planes taking off and landing from the same runway at the same time if you want to advance in this game.

Airport Madness: Time Machine is a game that I would love to love, but sadly can't. The gameplay can be addicting, is enjoyable and can be challenging. However, unfortunately, the game is full of bugs. Sometimes the game is challenging because of the bugs. From planes that just decide to go extremely slow, to random crashes with grounded planes, the bugs are more of an annoyance than anything else. None of the bugs I encountered are game-breaking, although at times they may be game-ending. Sometimes the sound will bug as well, getting very quiet or just dropping out until the next level, although I only encountered these types of bugs a few times.

Airport Madness: Time Machine
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 60%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 2/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 98%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

My expectation for the graphics was definitely met; the game looks like it was made in the early 2000s. The background is relatively static, and the planes are very low resolution. While the graphics could definitely be better, they fit the gameplay, and I don’t feel as though they retracted from the experience any. What you will see however is an ever-expanding airport as you play through the game. You also get little notices that pop up on your screen advancing the story. One thing I enjoyed is reading the headlines in the newspaper throughout the years, as they may be comical or bring insight into what’s happening. One thing to note is that when you make a mistake and cause an accident, you will see both planes crash in a cartoony way.

Airport Madness: Time Machine is enjoyable, although I wouldn’t recommend paying full price for it. It is a clean game that older children could enjoy, however it may be too difficult for the younger crowd. There isn’t any foul language or adult themes, although it does go through the 1940s and mentions WWII (in the headlines). The most offensive part of the game would likely be during an accident when you see two planes collide and “explode.” You will, however, see this often, as you’re likely to have many, many, many accidents in your air traffic controlling career. If you’re looking for a small game that you can pick up for five or ten minutes here or there, or if you're severely lacking in hard drive space, check it out. If you can't stand bugs stay away.

Doulos28

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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