Here you have an typical mid-nineties economic simulation which, you guessed it, simulates a airline company.
At the start of the game you own 100% of a stock corporation with a few million dollars capital. With this money you buy airplanes, which differ in statistics like range, price or room. On a world map you define routes, ticket prices and load (passengers or commodities) and send them on the flight. The rest is handled by the game itself and the only thing you have to do is buying new planes, sell parts of your stock due to financial difficulties, watch your balance sheet and handle a few random events like strikes or oil crises. Due to the nature of the game you'll spend all your time either on the world map or in front of statistics.
Airlines is an underrated airline management sim from Interactive Vision (who is actually hard at work on Airlines 2, slated for an early 2002 release). In contrast to Air Bucks, Airlines is a complex sim with a steep learning curve. Although the game offers a lot of real-world options and a wide variety of airplanes, the designer somehow chose to make the game play in real time. That's right-business acumen is not enough to succeed in Airlines: you need to think and act quickly before a day is over (or use slowdown programs to make it run very slowly). The clock advances 4 hours at a time, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything in a day.
Once you get used to the real-time gameplay, though, Airlines will draw you in (that is, if you like serious business sims) with its solid economic model, tough computer competitors, and a range of options that allow you to fine-tune your airline in much greater detail than Air Bucks. I found that the supply and demand curves in the game are a bit too inelastic and loan sharks a bit too unforgiving, but these are just minor gripes that make the game more challenging.
Overall, if you enjoy serious business sims and don't mind "dry" presentation and boring graphics, Airlines is well worth a look, especially if you find Air Bucks too simplistic. Recommended!
People who downloaded Airlines have also downloaded:
Air Bucks, Airline Tycoon Evolution, Ocean Trader, 1869, Aerobiz Supersonic, Airline Tycoon First Class, Capitalism Plus, Balance of Power (1990 edition)
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