As a huge tycoon games fanatic, I had an unnatural attraction towards Airborne Kingdom before I even started playing the game. Something about it reminded me of Cities Skylines and Age of Empires at the same time. To an extent, Airborne Kingdom is on the same track too. It combines the beauty of Middle-Eastern architecture and sounds with the marvel of modern technology. It’s as if Sim City decided to take some steroids from Columbia in Bioshock Infinite and the result is a well built, beautiful game.
Airborne Kingdom is a city-management and resource-planning game that brings the unique concept of flying cities to life. You are entrusted with the construction and management of your very own flying civilisation and you get to control the future of your settlement. Discover ancient ruins, other kingdoms, new technology and much more. Create allies to help you expand and progress in the world.
Airborne Kingdom is available for purchase on the Epic Games Store.
STORY – A Tale of Brotherhood and Prosperity
The premise of Airborne Kingdom is both, mystical and practical. You were once a part of a prosperous and efficient civilisation. Society consisted of a dozen kingdoms, each unique in their own right and everyone lived together in harmony. But what’s so special about that? Well, the united kingdom (not the actual UK but you get the drift) was a floating one! A giant landmass which was not a landmass coasting along in the sky, what a sight. But all good things must stand the test of time. Unfortunately, your united brotherhood didn’t, and fell into ruins. The kingdoms once united went their own ways and all that was left was a shattered dream. Lucky for you, you possess the capability to return the world to its former glory.
Your Journey Begins
You set out on a mission solely focused on one thing; uniting all the kingdoms into one giant banner once again. You start out small, very small, with just a floating town centre and a handful of “citizens”. You have to provide for your people, just like any leader would. Along with the members, take proper care of your budding city too. Make sure it has enough lift to stay afloat. That it has enough resources for you to survive. Most importantly, it makes the advancements for you to grow. Fly around, navigating mountains, valleys, vast plains and barren land, searching for resources and signs of life. Discover all the olden kingdoms and convince them to join your cause. You also have numerous tiny villages and towns to scout and recruit members from!
GAMEPLAY – A Breath of Fresh Air
The gameplay elements resemble something similar to your normal city-building shenanigans. You have your citizens with their respective needs. You have facilities that require upkeep. And you have the technological upgrades to keep an eye on as well. So for your fellow kingdom brethren, take care of their accommodation, food, water and their happiness. Each stat has an upper limit and you need to collect/maintain the resources. You can upgrade the upper limit with ample research. But that’s not all, you have to take care of your infrastructure too. Each building, each facility and even paths affect the structural integrity of your “town”. Your city stays afloat based on how much lift it produces. Lift is produced by your town centre and by fans. Every time you construct something, it takes up some of the lift. Go overboard and your city will sink.
There’s More To It!
Adding more buildings also causes drag. The more the drag, the slower your city flies. Drag can be reduced with propulsion devices. You need to manage your resources as well. There are fundamental items such as food, water, coal (for power) and clay, wood, etc to craft products. You can send planes down to the land to collect resources. I am willing to accept that I spent a good half an hour just watching the teeny tiny cutesy planes fly up and down. Map interaction is a simple point-click system and the entire map is available for traversal right from the beginning. The only issue I had with the gameplay here was the camera. The camera movements feel sluggish and quite heavy. The deceleration is also too slow to pan and rotate with precision.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO – An Artistic Masterpiece
If there’s one department where Airborne Kingdom absolutely crushes it, it is the graphical aspect. The game looks, feels, and plays beautiful. Everything from the character models to the world design has that spark of uniqueness. The art style resembles Persian/Middle-eastern architecture but is very contemporary. There is something medieval about it, something regal but a whole lot of classy. Each building, each prop, has its own identity and style. As for the character models, the people have a little oomph about them. And this is even after pointing out that none of them have faces. It’s like living amongst scarecrows without buttons on their faces. But maybe that is what makes things tick for them. Overall, the game is a feast for your eyes. I absolutely must mention the Photo Mode. It was one of the most powerful ones I’ve seen on any game, period.
Can’t Get The Music Outta My Head
After hyping the graphics and visual aesthetic of Airborne Kingdom to such an extent, you’d think I won’t have any juice for the sound department but no, this is a treat too! The background music and the cinematic score is music to your ears, quite literally. I have genuinely spent a good hour just floating in the sky mindlessly, listening to the music drone on and on. The style perfectly complements the theme and artwork of the game. The sound effects are crisp, chirpy and full. You are offered a complete immersion in every action you do. Airborne Kingdom truly offers you the complete sight-and-sound package and is one of the best games out there in this regard.
Airborne Kingdom was reviewed on PC via the Epic Games Store with a key provided by FIFTYcc.