I have a soft spot for tycoon and management games and have lost countless hours growing towns in Cities:Skylines. If you've never heard of Airport CEO, it's a tycoon game for PCs that puts you in charge of your very own airport. Thing is, you need to start from scratch, essentially nothing more than a flat piece of land, which can be developed into a busy international hub.
The most recent updates and its continuous development is slowly transforming the game into something special, and it's all resulting in another great example of Early Access on Steam done right. It costs around $16.
Delayed take off
I've spent nearly 60 hours in the game. Airport CEO is still early in the development stages, but it shows potential to become something so much more. The actual tycoon parts of the game are far from ready. In fact, it's more of a simulation than anything, but what the team has planned keeps people playing. It's true that not much content has been added over the last few months, but this is down to the team moving to new offices and focusing heavily on optimization.
Airport CEO was a glitchy, unoptimized mess. Now it runs like a dream.
Versions ago, Airport CEO was a glitchy, unoptimized mess. Now it runs like a dream in the early game with only huge airports taking a toll on system resources and losing frames per second (FPS) to the sheer number of people passing through your terminals. The team aims to continue working on performance and making it much easier on PCs at later stages, but new features are also in the works.
When it comes to a new version, I usually spend a few hours to check out the changes made and then wait for future updates. And sometimes the team has packed in a lot of improvements. Take the changelog of alpha 27.8-2:
- Re-implement basic weather effects.
- Added new weather station graphics.
- Added new light pole graphics.
- Increased loan payback days slightly on all loans.
- Enhance the display of estimated time of weather arrival in weather panel.
- Improve aircraft node occupation movement system to avoid long waiting time for aircraft when taxiing on same path.
- Enable in-game settings panel to show and hide with UI components disabled to improve UI performance when animating associated panels.
- Remove dictionary looping to improve overall passenger, employee and asset (bags) list processing performance.
On top of this list are a whole host of bug fixes, as well as a few minor features added. Next, the team has promised "continued bug fixing and various improvements" and "remote stand implementation and multi-floor terminals." For a 3D game with a fixed overhead camera position, the addition of multiple floors is going to be huge. And this is but one new feature the development team took from the community.
Adding new destinations in Airport CEO
Apoapsis Studios gets it right with the development of Airport CEO with the interaction the developer has with its community. Many feature requests have been submitted and voted on and the developer took the top voted requests as a guide on what to work into the game next. The most notable being the multi-floor terminals and remote stands. Then you have de-icing, catering, passport control, connecting flights, overnight stays and hubs, and more.
Regular development posts are published on the main blog, which go into detail about changes being made to the game, and multiple developers from the team can be found on the official forum communicating with fans and taking onboard feedback. Apoapsis Studios even held a design contest for the community to submit unique carrier branding and liveries, which were then added to the game.
It's the correct way to use Early Access and is a beacon of hope in a sea of countless dud projects. If you haven't checked out Airport CEO yet but enjoy tycoon and management games, I recommend you give it a go, taking into account the alpha state, of course.
Join us LIVE for the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30PM ET
We're LIVE with the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30pm ET, make sure you're there!
Windows 10 October 2020 Update review: Subtle, but necessary
Microsoft's next big Windows 10 feature update is almost here, packing several notable changes and enhancements. This release is known as the October 2020 Update, version 20H2, and is the second big Windows 10 update to hit in 2020, after version 2004 which released in May earlier this year. This release is very much a continuation of version 2004, adding a few final touches and subtle...
Alleged source code for Windows XP exposed in 4chan leak
Alleged Windows XP source code has surfaced online after a thread on 4chan gained steam this week. If genuine, the source code could pose a security threat for any remaining Windows XP systems, particularly if they're connected to the internet.
Up your Fortnite game with one of these great headsets
So you want to up your Fortnite game, do you? One of the easiest fixes is getting yourself a good headset. Whether you play on PC, console or mobile, there's something here for you.