Genre: Simulation Developer: Koei Japan Publisher: Koei America Players: 1-4 Released: 1994
Aerobiz Supersonic was released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis and is the sequel to the 1993 sleeper hit, Aerobiz. The game was developed and published by Koei, a company with a strong reputation for making games that one must think their way through. In both of the Aerobiz games, it is your job to make an upstart airline the number one company in the world within any one of the game’s four set time periods. The time periods for the game are: 1955-1975, 1970-1990, 1985-2005, and 2000-2020. These eras feature accurate representations of real-world events, with the exceptions of those that occur around, and after, the game’s development cycle. Things such as wars, and trade issues will crop up all the time, as will the Olympic games. They can all have an impact on your airline, so you will have to stay sharp if you want the outcome to be favorable.
The gameplay in AS revolves around you making all of the major decisions for your airline. You’ll have to do whatever you can to scrape your way to the top. You will attend board meetings and discuss strategies for becoming number one. You will have to map out flight routes and broaden your flight paths if you hope to succeed in such a cutthroat industry. You’ll need to beat your competition to the punch at every turn, like if you hear that your competition plans on expanding to a certain region, you will need to beat them to the region or risk losing a lot of potential business. Your competition in the game (made up of up to three CPU-controlled competitors) will stop at nothing to see you fail. If you want to achieve anything remotely resembling success , you’ll need some business sense and must know what the people want. Don’t be worried about the need for business savvy; most of it is common sense and as long as you place yourself in the role of your consumer you’ll be fine.
Here’s an example of some bare-bones business sense that is used: if there is a high-population area that will be getting the Olympic games, you will want to expand your service to include that area. The high volume of traffic will ensure brisk business for you. Keep in mind, you also have a budget that you need to be wary of. This budget goes towards the purchase of new planes. After all, who wants to fly in an outdated plane? New staff, repairs for planes, and the ability to expand your market are all expenses that need to be monitored and taken care of. Don’t spend too much too soon or your airline will crash and burn, and only make risky moves if you have the funds to cover any potential losses.
As someone who loves the business side of most every industry out there, I find this game to be a god-send. It gives me a chance to flex my business sense and see if I can run something as well as I think I’m able to. I was pleasantly surprised when I was soundly trounced by my competitors in my first few play sessions with the game. I don’t mind losing, and with this title, you learn in the process. After figuring out what I was doing wrong and what I could do to correct my mistakes, I got right back into the game. I went full-boar into it. I wouldn’t allow anything to stand in my way. I thought my way through any and all obstacles that stood in my path, and that strategy enabled me to succeed. All it took was a little thought to get my way through. Don’t allow the game’s heavy emphasis on the business side of things to negatively influence your thoughts. All it takes is a bit of trial and error, and the ability to learn from your mistakes, and you’ll be fine.
The game controls about as well as one could expect. The menu-driven game play is kept simple, yet not to the point where it gets confining. You can get anything done via the menu system, and get it done easily.
The graphics are great, considering the genre. The planes are full of details, and your staff members each have a unique look to them which helps you get a sense for who they are.
The sound in the game is well, there. Effects are used sparingly, but effectively. Music is all-but non-existent. Considering the genre, none of this is a surprise. AS‘s aural qualities are par for course in the genre. That’s not great, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing either.
The replay value is through the roof. As I mentioned earlier, this is a game that really gives you a chance to test your business sense. Anyone interested in the business world should definitely give it a shot. Those who aren’t interested in the business world, yet love strategy games, will love Aerobiz Supersonic as well. It’s a thinking-man’s game that tests every fiber of your being. Those looking for a game that will let them test their problem-solving abilities should look no farther.
Overall, this game provides a challenge to anyone willing to give it a shot. The only way you will get better is to keep trying, so if you don’t like putting effort into things, then this isn’t the game for you. However, if you are the type of person who is not afraid of a challenge, then give Aerobiz Supersonic a go. I believe that if you apply yourself, you will find it to be a game that truly gives back to the player.
For owners of the Sega Nomad, this game is not for you. The menus are hard to read thanks to the small screen, and the text is near-to-nigh impossible to read thanks to the blurry screen. The game’s controls, sound, and gameplay remain unchanged.
SCORE: 8 out of 10