This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
influences in whether a route will suc- most experienced player.
ceed or not. Weighing the balance be- Of course, Koei‘s venture into the world
tween fuel economy, passenger flow, of aeronautic economics isn‘t without its
and traveling distance can be a hard flaws. T he game suffers, as many do,
decision. For example, a flight across by making the assumption that all gam-
the Pacific takes a plane that can travel ers read at a third grade level. Text
the distance with as many passengers as moves by incredibly slowly, even when
possible. While a smaller craft like a bumped up to its fastest speed. Opening
DC10 can get the job done with maxi- routes, purchasing new planes, and at
mum fuel efficiency, the huge number of times even menu navigation, becomes a
passengers able to travel on a 747 can chore due to the snail-like pace at which
maximize the cash-flow coming in. the text crawls across the screen.
It is a great rarity to see a business These basic management tactics work
simulation game in the US market, let The music, while not immediately jar-perfectly well until a competitor steps in
alone one that succeeds well enough to ring, can quickly get on the nerves of and offers the same flight for a lower
garner a sequel. Coming from a com- even the most stalwart players. While price. The big decisions come here:
pany like Koei, who tend to churn out different music for each region of the whether to outspend the rival airline with
game after game in their Three King- globe is nice for playing with friends, in a advertising and offering more routes, or
doms and Dynasty Warriors series, a single player game, it‘s a detriment. The to drop the price and undercut the com-
solid business sim is especially surpris- music is determined by the starting city petition. Each could lead to success, but
ing. Following on the tail of Sim City‘s selected, and never changes. Hearing finding the optimal solution is the key.
enormous success on consoles, 1993‘s the same minute and a half of music
Aerobiz could not be said to have taken Aerobiz allows the player to select be- repeated for the entire length of the
America by storm. Those that played it, tween two different scenarios, 1963 to game can easily grate on the nerves. A
though, were introduced to a deep sys- 1995, and 1983 to 2015, allowing real simple evolutionary musical background,
tem and an extremely satisfying experi- history to account for some of the in as featured in Sim City, would have
ence. game events. War in the Middle East is made a huge difference.
fairly constant in the modern scenario, As the new CEO of a burgeoning airline, Aerobiz may not seem like the most
and both scenarios feature summer and the eventual goal is to meet or exceed a enthralling game at first glance, but the
winter Olympics, though the cities are certain number of routes and passengers depth and originality found within the
randomized. Most occurrences only by retirement. Profit, margin, personnel game makes it truly worth seeking out.
affect gas prices or briefly increase tour-expenses, and financial reports all come
ism to the countries featured, but the fall into play, and while these are the kinds Pros: Deep Gameplay, Fun Multiplayer,
of the USSR opens up a whole new array of things most gamers try not to think Unique Experience
of Eastern Bloc planes for purchase. about once they leave the workplace, in
That‘s assuming of course that the Cons: Repetitive Music, Slow Text, Long Aerobiz, the pursuit of excellence in
masochistic desire to play as the Rus- Turns in Multiplayer business is a rich and exciting task.
sians didn‘t take over during city selec-
After choosing a starting city, a few tion. Players based in Moscow com-
routes will be instantly available, usually pletely miss out on any decent long
linking to a small nearby airport and range planes until the fall of the Wall,
wielding low or negative profits. The when they finally have access to Boeing.
only way to edge closer to eventual vic- The game truly reaches its apex when
tory is the establishment and manage- played multiplayer. Up to four players
ment of high profit routes from one ma- Tip: Looking for a quick edge over the are able to compete in fierce economic
jor market city to another. After spend- competition? On your first turn, buy as battle, price gouging, forging, and
ing a few turns negotiating and securing much stock as you can in a charter air-breaking alliances, and generally engag-
spots in larger, higher traveled cities, the line, while still allowing enough money to ing their Machiavellian instincts to the
money starts rolling in. Making money set up routes and buy a few jets. Wait a fullest potential. Each turn only takes a
isn‘t really a challenge in the game; year, then sell it all. While a $4 differ-minute once play gets seriously under-
there‘s no question that a route from ence in stock price may not seem like way, but it can be nice to have a secon-
much, remember, you’re buying a mini-L.A. to Tokyo is going to be profitable.
dary activity for those waiting. For ex- mum of ten thousand at a time! The challenge comes in properly manag-
ample, a game of Risk or even chess ing that route.
running concurrent to a game of Aerobiz - Dick Ward
Plane selection is one of the biggest can make for a stimulating, though often
confusing evening.
While simple to understand, Aerobiz
provides a deep playing experience for
those willing to delve into it. Players are
able to make the game as simple or as
complicated as they want, with five diffi-
culty settings and a wide variety of start-
ing areas, each with their upsides and
downsides. Starting in Tehran, Iran for
instance, or Moscow, Russia can really
make the game hard on for even the
30 | Video Game Trader Magazine | June 2008 |
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