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.
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!
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!)
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.
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!