Airline Tycoon Evolution, an upgraded version of the previously released Airline Tycoon, allows players to take command of an airline company and control its destiny in the fiercely competitive airline industry. Players will control security operations, flight crews, time scheduling, and design their own airplanes. Internet features include the free exchange of airline designs and high score listings. Gameplay includes 30 missions (including ten that have been completely redesigned), and the new Security Office allows players to defend themselves from the sabotage attacks of opponents.
Somehow the name 'terminal' seems appropriate when you view its many incarnations. Anyone who has ever flown knows the seemingly interminable wait in the line to get to the ticket check-in counter. With added security measures at airports, the line now begins farther back.
Perhaps some of thought that they could simplify the process, make it smoother and faster.
Well, you can give it a try, but you will have to do it on your PC. Spellbound Software, in conjunction with Monte Cristo and Strategy First, has just released the second Airline Tycoon game in the series. This one is entitled Airline Tycoon Evolution.
So what's new?
Well, the game has a new campaign and 10 new missions. You can design and build your own airplane from parts you purchase. Airplanes built can be exchanged over the Internet and can be used in campaigns.
Because the game is scored, you can post your game score on the Internet to see how you stack up against other players from around the world.
The game play boasts a new security office to help players defend themselves from sabotage, and there are new ways to sabotage your opposition.
Perhaps a little explanation of the game is in order.
Airline Tycoon is a race between four competitors to build up an airline into the most-profitable venture in the cyber realm. The game can be played either as a single player, with three campaigns or free play, or over the Internet in multiplayer mode. In campaign mode, you begin with a meeting with Dr. Uhrig, the airport manager. He outlines the missions, then sends you and your fellow 'tycoons' out to accomplish the tasks at hand. Each morning in the cycle, you attend a meeting and receive an update. Your day is filled by signing route contracts, managing airline personnel, buying planes and parts, scheduling departure times, upgrading your equipment, purchasing oil for fuel, and the general micro-management mayhem that comprises this game.
Need some quite cash? You can visit the bank and issue more shares of your company stock.
Sure, you can spend the day sitting at your desk, thumbing through the flight plans, but running an airline is hard work and you have to be constantly on the go.
If there is a fault with this game it lies in the fact that there is too much to do. This, in spite of the light and entertaining graphics, is a complex game that will appeal to the hardcore 'tycoon' genre gamers (yep, we have come so far as to classify a game genre as tycoon). Those who like the quicker pace of games like Monopoly Tycoon, or even Casino Empire, will find this experience too tedious.
The player interface is complex, with 29 keyboard hotkeys. Though the game is essentially a side-scroll, two-dimensional affair, there are a multitude of things to do, which are not explained through the semi-tutorial which accompanies the start of the first campaign. This is not an intuitive game. You will have to peruse the manual to get an idea of the depth of the game, and to understand all on the management options you have.
The graphics are lush and colorful, and the animation follows suit. This is a nice game to look at. Sound-wise, the voice-over work is solid, and the effects associated with an airport (planes taking off and such) are inserted into the play. However, one element this game should have left at the boarding gate is the midi music soundtrack. This is the worst kind of elevator music, and does not do justice to either the game or the platform. Thankfully, you can turn it off.
The Aircraft Constructor is a drag-and-drop plane designer interface that is a pleasant surprise and fun to tinker around in. You can come up with some unique designs, and then share them over the Internet.
Airline Tycoon Evolution is not for the casual game player who wants to jump in, develop and then walk away. This game requires you to roll up your sleeves and get down to some serious micro managing.
There is a lot of lag, especially when the secretary/advisor pops up, but like most games in the genre; you can speed up the time via a clock. Because of the nature of the game, it takes a long time to realize goals.
The animation is quite well done, and the game though two-dimensional is lush and colorful. This won't reset the bar for the tycoon genre, but it does have a nice look to it with interesting environment elements (like the Seymour from "Little Shop of Horrors" plants in the bank).
The midi music gets very old very fast. The voice work is decent, and the rest of the sound effects are merely average.
The game is very broad-based, and the controls are not intuitive. The learning curve is, perhaps, 45 minutes. The game is supported by several elements, including the manual and a Web-based set of hints and tips.
This game is a messy mix of too many elements from issuing shares at the bank to the minutia of running an airline. The intent for a game with depth is there, but the program almost 'grounds' itself by putting too much into the game play.
The game features solid Internet support and is geared for head-to-head competition online.
Airline Tycoon Evolution is the second program in the series. It adds another campaign to the two in the original, but falters in some key areas such as the soundtrack. The graphics have been kept light and upbeat, but the program really dives into the nitty-gritty of running an airline, and for that reason may not appeal to the casual fan of tycoon games. However, for those who want depth of play within the tycoon realm of games, this game may be your ticket.
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