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Airport City HD

For: iPad
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First class or economy?

Product: Airport City HD | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Game Insight | Format: iPad | Genre: Simulation | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Airport City HD iPad, thumbnail 1
Have you heard? Heathrow's at risk of being overtaken as Europe's main transport hub. It's all to do with our cramped old country not leaving enough room to build additional runways, while our German and Dutch cousins plan properly and expand smartly.

Not interested in the slightest? Then you may not feel that Airport City HD is for you, as it's all about the logistics of putting a working airport together.

Thankfully, it's more interesting than it sounds.


If you've glanced at the screenshots already, you've probably noticed that this is another freemium world-building title played from an isometric perspective. 

This time you're building an airport from scratch. You have to do everything you'd expect of that role, and that includes building additional runways, new and bigger planes, facilities, and fuelling stations.

There's a lot more to it than that, though. You're also, rather oddly, responsible for the ecosystem that feeds your airport. As such, there's a touch of town-planning as you build the very houses that will supply your passengers.

It makes little sense when you think about it, but it does give you a little more to consider - as does the need for restaurants, grocery stores, and other facilities for your citizens.

Flight control

This holistic approach to running an airport even stretches to charting flights and sending the planes off, fully fuelled. As you level-up you unlock new and increasingly exotic locations, which of course give you more experience points and funds.

Thus goes the endless treadmill of upgrades and expansion. It's a system we've seen a thousand times before, but it's still pretty compelling here.

Of course, before too long you'll have to pay real money to keep going - at least at a decent pace. If you really want to you could probably grind away and see much of the game without splashing out too much additional cash, but that's really not a realistic way to approach it.

All in all, we got a good few hours of fun out of a single £1.49 payment, but you'll undoubtedly hit that dreaded point as we did where you have to start opening your wallet to glean further fun from the game. In particular, expanding your land to spread your airport out is rather expensive and will test your attachment to the game.

We're also not fans of the game's 'hidden extras' - additional items that are necessary for certain facilities to function, but that you don't find out about until after you've purchased them.


Airport City HD takes a little too long to get going, with a sustained period of not doing much beyond ferrying guest planes in to refuel and drop a few pennies into your coffers early in the game.

This lull is followed by a prolonged period of actvity, with lots of missions thrown our way (such as collecting rare artefacts from flights to Egypt) in succession and upgrade paths opening out.

The controls are also a little iffy at certain points. For example, if a pop-up appears to help you pick up a passenger from their house, and it's in front of another building or facility, we often found ourselves opening that menu in addition to making the collection. Needless to say, as the game gets busier this can become a little annoying.

Overall, Airport City HD is a competent freemium management game that offers a decent amount of fun for your in-app purchases - but a few imbalances and annoyances may ground you before journey's end.
Airport City HD
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 21 August 2012
Airport City HD is a freemium management game that offers a decent amount of initial fun for your in-app purchases, but a few bottlenecks and imbalances hold up the traffic somewhat
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