Tower Simulator

Tower Simulator
Feel There/Wilco Publishing

Ever wondered what it would be like to have an entire airport to yourself? to be in control of hundreds of peoples lives as they return and depart for holidays across the world? Well wonder no more with Tower Simulator you are in control of the Tower in a busy real world airport. With a look almost exactly like that in Flight Simulator 2004 fans of Flight Simulator will feel right at home.

The basic idea is that you are in control of the tower, nothing else really changes, there are a few airports ranging from Princess Juliana, St. Maarten with only 2 runways to choose from to Chicago’s O’Hare International with 12 active runways it has an airport for everyone. I started playing with the default airport and runway which was runway 19R, Orange County Airport in California. At first things start out quiet and gradually pick up pace as the day goes on before dropping of a little later. The game is good and engaging but lacks voice control which when operating the tower at O’Hare would have come in handy during the peak times and would allow you to do other things whilst playing. Although I found after the first 10 minutes (which is 10 minutes in real time as well) at Orange County that by preparing messages first I had plenty of time free between flights to make drinks, grab food and write this review.

As i said before the graphics are on a level with those seen in Flight Simulator 2004 which isn’t a bad thing since they were amazing at the time and still out today in the simulation world. Tower Simulator has ground traffic at and around the airport, hundreds of airline liveries and weather that all comes together to create a really engaging environment. The part that lets it down though are the ground textures, yes they look ok but that’s the problem, they do only look ok. I imagine from above whilst flying around they would look amazing but from the angle your at they just look strange and slightly blurry.

The sound on the other hand is perfect across the board. Pilots will tell you when they are in your airspace and ready to depart, different accents depending on airlines and where you are. Even the aircrafts sound right based on where you are in relation to the runway.

The developers really took their time making this as good as it can be and for what its worth they have done it. They have successfully mated Zork and Flight Simulator to create Tower Simulator. It could be improved with integrated voice controls and when running it on multiple monitors it does improve the game allowing you to place the radars and strip on one monitor and have the tower view and command window in the other. Also adding in the TrackIR support allows you to get engrossed in the action and frees your hands up to type commands or reviews.

So is it worth buying? Yes.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Probably not unless I knew they loved airport operations, yes its a brilliant game but only if you like that kind of thing, if you don’t your going to last 5 minutes and get bored.

Paul M
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