Airport simulators were once a dull prospect to us, but all of that changed when Airport Mania came along. It's friendly and appealing graphics coupled with it's frantic gameplay was nothing short of brilliant. Aero Porter certainly sounds like Airport Mania, but is it any good?
We'll get one thing straight, Aero Porter is not Airport Mania and certainly doesn't bare much resemblance to it. At first, that disappointed us, but now we have learnt to love Aero Porter for what it is. For that reason, we'll try not to compare Aero Porter to Airport Mania too much.
Whilst Airport Mania looked at the more broader picture of an airport, handling every aspect of the airport. Aero Porter specifically looks at the luggage department. It is your role to sort passenger's luggage, so that it ends up on the correct plane on time. It sounds incredibly simple, but you'll soon learn that it's not. With many more mechanics being thrown in, Aero Porter soon becomes a scene of chaos.
The way in which you sort luggage on to the correct level is relatively simply. When the bags drop from the top of the screen, you keep them dropping until they reach the corresponding coloured level. When there is enough bags on a level, they are ready to be packed on to a plane.
Luggage is transferred between levels using ramps, these ramps are controlled with the L and R buttons, yes, it does feel like Pinball. Although, the interesting mechanic here is that when you move one ramp, they all move which makes dropping luggage quite a tricky business.
There's an awful lot of mechanics to talk about here, and we simply can't cover them all. Some of the best being the ability to turn off the lights on certain levels, to conserve fuel. Plus the ability to expand fuel by purchasing it and dropping the fuel into the fuel tank at the bottom.
After following a simple tutorial, the game swiftly sets you free on your own adventure. You're expected to just drop in and out of the sorting game as you wish and work to serve passengers quicker and faster. That adds an awesome level of portability and the good old fashioned ability to pick up and play.
It's the way in which Aero Porter uses Streetpass functionality that intrigued us. The game allows you to paint your own Aircraft and share them via Streepass. The Aircraft that you have stumbled accross will be stored in the Hangar. It's a neat little idea but we can't really see it catching on, seeing as Aero Porter is no big blockbuster title.
In terms of presentation, Aero Porter certainly does feel a little rough around the edges. The menus and graphics all feel a little cheap and the lack of 3D graphics makes this game feel a little like a shoddy Nintendo DS port.
In conclusion, Aero Porter is no Airport Mania and we have clearly established that. But what it is, is a hard as nails management game that incorporates some pretty interesting mechanics. Despite feeling a little cheap looking at times, Aero Porter is completely original. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones
7/10 - Aero Porter isn't Airport Mania, but we've come to understand that as a good thing.
Review copy provided by Level 5