Airplane Mode Review
The greatest thing about summer is going on holiday. Perhaps you may pay a visit to the countryside and take a hike through the mountains and hills of the Lake District, or maybe you will go to a popular destination such as Blackpool or Brighton and spend some lazy days sitting on the beach having a few drinks. If you are very lucky, you will go abroad to a place like Spain or Greece. Whilst this isn’t possible right now due to the ongoing pandemic, Airplane Mode seeks to rectify this by having you travel on a real-time flight.
Airplane Mode is a real-time flight simulator game that has you spending six hours of your life traveling to a fantasy destination, at least it’s fun though right? Well, here is the first major flaw in the game; flying isn’t fun in real life, at least not for me and it definitely isn’t fun in a videogame. The best thing about traveling on an airplane when going on holiday is the anticipation, the thoughts that you have about your destination. Whilst sometimes you must endure the pains of babies screaming, kids kicking and parents shouting, the destination really justifies sitting in a cramped middle seat for several hours. Some of these things are in the game, but you really don’t feel a sense of anticipation and when you do eventually land nothing happens. You can however pick another flight and spend another six hours on a flight to nowhere.
Let’s start off by talking about some of the features on the plane. As mentioned multiple times above, the flights in this game are real time and you will have to do it all in one sitting; there is no save button so you can’t come back to a flight at a later point. This is really disappointing as if there was a save button I could at least see a little more of the appeal for this game, but as it is, I really don’t understand why the developers thought someone would have six hours of their life to waste on a flight to nowhere. This game’s premise is very similar to a game called Desert Bus, which was about driving a bus with a dodgy right tyre on a trip from Arizona to Las Vegas in real-time (which takes an astounding eight hours). Maybe the developers of this game wanted people to reminisce about their childhood days of being indoors on a smelting hot summer day playing Desert Bus.
You may be asking, what do you do while you are on this six hour flight? Well essentially you can do nothing. The environment is very interactive, but some of the features are buggy and completely broken, so whilst there are a lot of achievements you can unlock, I found that some of them were unobtainable due to glitches. I am going to walk you through what I did with my six hour flight from Los Angeles airport to Reykjavik. I started off by ignoring the seatbelt sign from takeoff. I thought I was being clever and hoped this would add a new aspect to the game, like maybe the flight would be delayed or maybe a crew member would come and yell at me for not having my seatbelt on. However, nothing happened and the plane took off like it normally would. Once we were in the air I found that I had a bag hidden underneath the seat in front of me. When I opened the bag I found that I had pills in there. At this point, I thought Airplane Mode was a fun game that was hiding as a flight simulator. I swallowed all of the pills in one go (there were about 12 pills), after about 10 minutes of real-time, my eyes in the game started to go black and the character was falling asleep. “This is where the real game starts” is what I thought. Turns out no it wasn’t. The pills put me to sleep for about an hour of the flight. The screen went black and the game was fast-forwarded an hour, however, I still had to endure another four hours of the flight.
So what other features are there for these four hours? Well… not many. The game on Steam boasts about replay value and different scenarios happening on the plane however I found that most of these ‘features' were disabled in-game for some reason or another. When I tried to order food the game gave me a message of “This service is not available at this time.” This was quite disappointing as I was looking forward to seeing what food options there were available on the flight.
After about 20 minutes of me playing blackjack via the TV system on the chair in front of me, I decided that I was going to watch a movie. Unfortunately the only movies available were movies from the early 1900s and very early episodes of Looney Toons that only lasted eight minutes. I opted to watch Looney Toons on repeat for about two hours of my flight. This was infuriating and once the flight was over I had learned the entire script of that Looney Toons episode.
There were some other features as well like being able to go to the bathroom, playing on your phone or even throwing up in a paper bag due to plane sickness. I found that there may be an option to secretly smoke on the plane, however neither me nor my friend who played this game were able to find any cigarettes to do so.
After the six hours were up, our plane finally came into land. I felt the rush of success wash over my body. As we were landing I was so happy that my journey was over; my back was killing me and I needed to take a break but I had wanted to finish the long journey that I had started. After landing I found that the plane wasn’t doing anything, there were no pilot announcements and the stewards weren’t asking people to leave the plane because the game had frozen on the landing runway. I decided to wait to see if this was maybe the delay feature that was mentioned on the Steam page, however, after waiting 30 minutes I was still in the same situation. I googled the issue and it is a common bug with the game, this was the biggest disappointment of my life, I had wasted six hours of my life on an imaginary flight and I couldn’t even finish.
Airplane Mode (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
This game is absolutely not fun, the only appeal to this game is if you want to go abroad but don’t care about the beaches or the actual holiday part.