My New Airline Management Simulator Addiction – Fun for AVGeeks and Normal People Alike

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Air Tycoon Online 2 Review
Air Tycoon Online 2 is a lot of fun for both aviation geeks and normal people alike!

Air Tycoon Online 2 Review

While I am far from the nerdiest or most hardcore aviation geek in the world, I still do love airplanes, airlines and everything related to travel. With that passion comes the desire to be a part of it or at least pretend I am. I’m sure at some point every aviation geek has wanted to know how it feels to run an airline. Well, I finally discovered a way. Sort of. It is a game series called Air Tycoon.

I first discovered Air Tycoon a couple of years ago on my iPad. It was/is an airline simulation game. The first version of the game was quite simple and involved setting routes, buying planes and collecting money. Nothing too realistic, but thankfully the company behind Air Tycoon, Tradegame Lab has worked hard to improve the series with every new game.

Air Tycoon Online 2 Review
The bright white lines are my routes, while the light grey lines are routes of competitors. That is a lot of airplanes!

In Air Tycoon 3 they added the ability to purchase ancillary businesses and also the necessity to purchase route slots at airports. This added a level of complexity that I think gave the game more depth and replayability. I really like Air Tycoon 3, but it still has one thing missing. The competition is simply too limited and the AI isn’t the best.

Thankfully Tradegame Labs brought the Air Tycoon series online with the release of Air Tycoon Online and Air Tycoon Online 2. While I am generally not a fan of “free” games with in app purchases, I was immediately hooked when I started playing. The online version has most of the same game play mechanics as the offline version, however the competition is so much better because you are playing against real people!

Air Tycoon Online 2 Review
The game has real planes which each have their advantages and disadvantages including fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.

I started playing Air Tycoon Online 2 about a week ago and was immediately hooked. On the server I am playing, each turn lasts 1 hour and progresses the timeline one month. During the first few days I found myself checking in during each turn and carefully building my airline.

Unlike with the offline version which only allows a very limited number of competitors, Air Tycoon Online has hundreds of players in each game world. Want to fly from JFK-LHR? Be prepared for a ton of competition! You better make sure your onboard services such as meals and amenities help you compete! Even then, it is best to find potentially lucrative routes without a lot of competition. (Easier said than done!)

Air Tycoon Online 2 Review
The game starts in 1960, meaning you only have a limited selection of models available at the start. As the game progresses in time, more models open up for purchase.

This is of course a “free” game with in-app purchases, meaning you will have to wait for planes to be built and slots to be assigned. You can speed up the game by purchasing tokens, however I haven’t found the need to. Now that I am a week in, I check in once or twice a day and formulate my strategy. My airline isn’t at the top yet, but I rank fairly high.

The one downside to this rapid progression is how much it hurts to take a day off. Yesterday I worked all morning and attended a wedding in the evening! Since I wasn’t able to put too much effort into my airline, I sort of fell behind. In the screenshot below you can see the satisfaction ratings are low. This is because I have old airplanes. It is definitely time for some upgrading.

Air Tycoon Online 2 Review
There is a lot of data to look at after each turn. How satisfied are your customers? How much is each route making. What are your competitors charging?

Conclusion

Perhaps this article seems like a sales pitch to you, but believe me it’s not. I have no relationship with the developers and get nothing for writing this review. Truthfully, I had been meaning to write about this series since I first discovered Air Tycoon a couple of years ago. Something held me back from doing it and I now realize it was the lack of competition.

Of course the truly hardcore will immediately notice this isn’t hyper realistic. Yes this is still a mobile app game experience, so don’t expect to micro-manage every single thing. With that said, I have found that Air Tycoon Online 2 has just enough realism to make it fun and slightly addicting!

You can find Air Tycoon Online and Air Tycoon Online 2 in the Google Play & iTunes App Stores.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Haven’t tried Airline Tycoon but I was addicted to Airline Empire which is only and you compete against other real people too. Another one is The Airline Project, offline with a ton of features but it does have alot of bugs still

  2. When I first read your title, I thought it was a new way to manage and simulate your mileage runs and test your routes via 3D Google Maps type platform that provided awesome detail. But then youre talking about a game! haha.

    Would be so damn awesome if Tradegame Labs had some deals with airlines to offer points/miles for playing the game successfully! How cool would that be?

    Would also be cool if they took this game to the next level and further developed into some serious World of Warcraft / Final Fantasy real time MMORPG style SIMS universe. Then give grand prize bonus miles or something like that for successful tycoons!

    • I have tried Airway Sim and a few others. The reason Air Tycoon is so good is because it is an app and thus is simple and convenient to use. As I mentioned at the end, this definitely isn’t a hardcore sim nor is it meant to be. Not everyone is looking for something as in depth as Airway Sim. I personally like both styles of game, but they are quite different.

  3. Just bought the game; I paid the 99 cents for the 70 coins since I have some spare iTunes credit lying around.

    I like it so far. Maybe we should get in the same game and start an alliance.

  4. I’m 100% agree with you, it’s a really good game to play. certainly online. But it gets really addicting. I find myself play this game in every possible time. I play it during the lunch breaks at school and during work. One down side is that it takes an half hour to get new planes while you’re further in the game. This forces players to check their phone every half an hour.

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