Airborne Kingdom is a City Building Gem
When it comes to city builders on consoles, the results are generally poor. Even if the game is rock solid, the controls don’t often translate well to controllers. These are games primarily built for a mouse and keyboard. Yet somehow Airborne Kingdom deals with those issues with ease, and provides a fantastic experience that is a must play for any city building fan.
Airborne Kingdom is driven by a story – you are looking to find and “ally” with the 12 kingdoms spread across the tapestry – literally, you fly across a tapestry and it’s beautiful. As you unite with each, you’ll need to continue building and expanding your airborne kingdom, by building houses, manufacturing, storage, and hangers.
Not for clothes, mind you, but for planes. See, as a kingdom in the skies, all the resources you need are down on the ground, which means you’ll need to send planes down to the surface to collect the various materials you’ll need – clay, coal, forests, food, water…lots of stuff. Once you have that in your kingdom, some of it can be further processed to create new items for building, trading, and more.
As you collect more ruins gems to spend on new buildings, your kingdom will slowly grow, and with growth comes a host of different problems. Are you feeding all your villagers? Is your industrial area too close to your houses? Are your people happy? And probably most importantly – is your kingdom level?
Yup, level. See, build too much to the right or left, or too much to the front or back, and you’ll begin to create a tilt in your kingdom. Ever tried walking in a room that has a slightly tilt. I guarantee if you have, it annoys the hell out of you. Well, your citizens don’t want to walk on a tilt either, so by using balanacing techniques coupled with propellers and more, you can create an expansive, but balanced city.
That being said, the more you add to your city, the heavier it gets, the slower it moves, and ultimately the more coal it will use. Run out of coal, and your kingdom might crash to the ground, which will result in a game over. And as you can imagine, not every resource will be instantly available the second you need it, so careful trip planning is key to success. I found a slow, methodical approach to how I went form A to B was a much wiser decision than attempting to rush it, as it often got me in trouble. Fortunately, you can always trade at any of the 12 kingdoms, albeit with steep prices!
The mechanics just work, and from start to finish, I had so much fun with this experience. It has a fantastic art style, some soothing music, and a great gameplay loop that kept me coming back for more. With a single game taking well over 15 hours, you’ll get plenty of play time for the dollars you will spend. And even after beating it once, you’ll likely want to go back and try it again. And hey, you can always go into sandbox mode!