Airborne Kingdom is a chill building and resource management game where you build and expand a city hovering in the sky. According to the backstory, there used to be a huge flying metropolis that united all the nations and good times ensued. For some reason, this city disappeared though and so the glue holding the nations together was gone. But now, after I don’t know how many years the city is back, kind of since it’s not the same one but a similar flying city. So, the story is not exactly the best selling point of the game and it just fills the bare minimum story requirements. I don’t think this is a genre where you go to look for an exciting story, so I don’t count it as a negative thing.
The basic game loop is simple: gather resources, expand your city, and roam across the map. While doing that, you will meet new nations scattered around and do some quests for them which usually involves gathering resources and roaming around. While doing this, you need to keep an eye on the city’s current resources like water and food for citizens and coal to keep your city in the air, to mention a few. Resources spots are always limited, meaning you need to move around to keep all the mandatory resources on a sufficient level. Moving around means you drive your whole city across the map and when you get close to resources you can pick them up by assigning pilots for the job. There’s also a tech tree so you can, for example, research new technologies to refine your resources or build more powerful fans to move around faster. All this might sound simple and that’s because it is.
The game is beautiful, it has a good soundtrack and I personally like relaxing building games. What’s even better: it’s not a steampunk game. Yes, I’m not a fan of steampunk. Airborne Kingdom draws its aesthetic inspiration from middle eastern building style with minarets and onion style domes. At least for me, that’s something fresh and uncommon. Still, I feel like something is missing in the game, something just doesn’t click. Exploring around is a bit dull and so is the world in general: It’s mostly desert and even the cities feel rather unlively. The tech tree has a similar problem: let me research something cool and interesting rather than 20% more power to fans or more capacity for warehouses. I have very limited play hours so far so maybe something interesting is still coming up, but right now I feel quite uninterested to start the game and find out. Airborne Kingdom’s 21€ price tag is fair to me, but the game does have such a lack of content that it feels more like an early access game, even though it isn’t. It’s not a bad game by any means, just disappointing.
Publisher: Freedom Games
Developer: The Wandering Band
Platforms: Epic Games Store, Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
Release Date: December 17th 2020
Genres: Building, Management, Casual
Pictures are screenshots from the game, taken by the author.
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