Zeppelins were the sky's biggest aircrafts ever. So - have you ever thought about managing a fleet of them? In Zeppelin this is just your job. Invest in new technologies, build airships for several nations, find new flight routes and win the race with competing companies.
You can participate in flying competitions, take on special missions (such as time critical assignments), speculate at the stock-market, etc. The game also contains precise historical material; political and economical developments strongly influence the storyline.
Zeppelins were quite an incredible invention. As you probably know, they were giant airships that were mostly used for passenger flights in the early days of the 20th Century. Their fate was finally sealed by the Hindenburg disaster which to the modern mind was inevitable, airships vanished. Their popularity hadn't been helped by some German tours in the first and second world war when they delivered somewhat less welcome cargos, though to little effect other than psychological.
Ok, enough waffle, you probably know fully well what the things are, but I have to write something about this game, and the game itself inspires precious little. The basic idea is that you set up routes for your airships to maximise profit, design new airships and make as much money as possible. While this was exciting and fun in games like Transport Tycoon, Zeppelins feels a bit, no pun intended, flat. Your aircrafts chunter off on their flights and it's all rather serene. Not a whole lot happens most of the time and making decisions on where to purchase your gas and fuel is about as dynamic as the whole things gets. The decisions you have to come to can make or break your flying business and while that may be realistic, it seems a bit tough that a single bad decision can utterly ruin you. Maybe I'm just a bit reckless for the Zeppelin business. I could have sworn that storm would pass.
But wait, it's not all bad! If you like management sims, Zeppelin may well tickle your rudder! It's definitely very authentic and quite nicely presented. Setting up a good working route and watching the money flood in is still good fun and in a way that is hard to define, it's quite relaxing to play. The presentation is nice, and there is plenty of historical background relayed to you via newspapers and the telegraph ticker. The problem is, despite the rather good way the game is presented, all in a sepia tint, it's just not that exciting for the average gamer.
One final word of advice, if you've been weaned on easy going sims like Theme Park or the like, you are in for a rude awakening. Zeppelin is difficult, it doesn't discourage you from spending unwisely nor does it tell you that the freight deals you've pulled off don't stand a chance of being completed in your less than impressive floating gasbag. This is a game where you really will need some business acumen to make things work and that perhaps is one of the reasons its appeal will be limited. For those with the ability to get stuck into a realistic business sim though, there's no end of realism and some serious choices to be made.
Rumours of a Led Zeppelin mini-game where you run around a maze collecting hard drugs, making deals with satan and recording some of the finest music ever committed to vinyl are sadly untrue.
This unique strategy game quietly sank when MicroProse brought it to the U.S., despite garnering considerable following in Europe. This game is similar to Impressions' Air Bucks in that it is a business sim, only here you manage a fleet of zeppelins that were in commercial use in early 20th century. Set routes, choose from various engines, and see the profits roll in. A case of original concept sank by poor interface and repetitive gameplay. For the patient only!
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