IGN Review of Air Traffic Chaos
Majesco is tapping into the underserved air traffic controller market with Air Traffic Chaos. I say underserved in North America only -- this series is quite popular in Japan. It's a cool premise for a game, but it ends up being a little too monotonous to really get its hooks in you. I would recommend it to younger gamers as it has a very kiddie presentation and does actually teach them the basics of what an air traffic controller (ATC) does.
Air Traffic Chaos accurately recreates five Japanese airports and puts the player in control of managing incoming and departing flights. This is really an exercise in multitasking where you juggle up to eight flights at once and try to keep them from crashing into one another. From your bird's eye view in your control tower, you can see incoming planes, the runway, and the airline gates. All of this is displayed on the top screen while you navigate menus and make selections on the touch screen. You can do everything you need to with the stylus, but button controls work just as well. The kiddie look really isn't a turn off, and all the pieces in play are easily distinguishable even though they're tiny.
It's a little strange that the game was translated but not localized. I understand that these airports are all based on real locations so changing the Japanese names to something more North American-friendly wouldn't make much sense. The Japanese doesn't bother me at all, but this is a game for kids and they might have trouble with some of these titles.
Each of the five airports has three difficulty levels, so there are 15 stages to be played through. Levels are presented as a work shift and you have to make it through the entire time period without causing a single accident. While the novice levels are a breeze and only throw four planes at you at once, the Chaos comes into play on harder difficulties. Each flight has a stress level representing their satisfaction with your service. If the total stress level of all juggled flights reaches a certain point you'll fail the level. While it's easy to keep everyone happy on novice, there's no getting around stepping on a few toes when the difficulty ramps up. You'll have to leave a few planes waiting on the tarmac longer than they'd like while the runway clears.
Turns out being an ATC is a really low stress job. There is a lot of waiting around while planes get in position to takeoff or land. Your shifts are only a few hours long. Even if you cause two planes to collide in the air, resulting in the fiery deaths of hundreds, your only reprimand will come from a cute anime girl who says, "better luck next time." The fact that there is so much downtime makes the title a little bit misleading. There could have been some other business for the player to attend to while they wait for their flights to accept new orders. But, the breezy gameplay is what makes this a good pick for the kids.
Unfortunately for all you pyromaniacs out there, you aren't treated to any satisfying explosions when a collision occurs. As soon as two planes touch the game freezes and you're kicked out to the level recap menu.
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