Airport Freaky Lite, air traffic management simulator for Android
Air traffic controllers are those trained professionals keeping air traffic safe by managing the flow of airplanes in such a manner that they’re never too close to each other and always sent fast to their destination. They have one of the most stressful jobs in the world and in order to be hired for such a job they need to be highly skilled in decision making, exact sciences, while having an excellent medical condition. Basically everything I lack (except for the sciences part).
My uncle was an air traffic controller in the 80s and unfortunate for him it almost ended tragically. Having worked long hours and doing extra-ones one of his colleagues made a mistake and 2 military planes almost crashed. Unfortunate for him, the Secretary of State was in one of those planes. Everyone working in that shift was arrested and secretly investigated to the point where, after several weeks, almost all of them received the capital punishment. It took a grain of luck for him to receive instead a little jail time and being banned forever from any job related air space controlling. It was during the communist regime that’s why the fast trial and severe punishment.
Mistakes happen and when they do those end up tragically, that’s why this job is very stressful. Wikipedia lists about 17 recorded accidents that were caused by air traffic controllers, which you have to admit is pretty low given the large number of flights, thus air traffic controllers do a hell of a job. Next time you board on a plane remember that there is someone else besides the pilot that ensures you have a safe flight.
If you like the idea of controlling air traffic but your chances of professing it are as slim as winning the lottery, you can try a simulator. There are a lot of desktop games/software that you can install and play, even web-based versions. Even better, you have your own air traffic controller simulator in your pocket, if you have an Android powered smartphone. All you need is the app for it and Airport Freaky is the latest air traffic simulator for Android devices.
The short video presentation below shows you how the game is played and how lucky you are that I’m not a real ATC guiding your plane…
Once the game is installed and started, you can choose between two gameplay modes, Classic or Arcade. The Classic one is a level-by-level approach, where gradually the difficulty increases, while Arcade is a continuous mode where you play until… you’ve had enough.
The goal in the game is to control the arrivals and departures of airplanes by directing them to their correct destination. The game ends if two planes crash into each other or if you don’t direct every plane onto its correct air path in time. It’s very simple to control the game, basically all you have to do is tap on a plane and you’ll see an arrow pointing to the same direction in which you drag your finger. The plane automatically switches its trajectory and moves towards the indicated direction. Once it arrived at the correct destination, it counts as a correct controlling. The air destinations are marked with letters and the landing/takeoff tracks with numbers. Each plane will have by its wing a letter/number and you have to direct them to the same letter/number air gate to fulfill the goal of the game.
Here are some of the features of Airport Freaky:
- Air traffic simulation. The game simulates real-life plane trajectories and you have to guide all the planes to their destination. Each plane will have in the lower-right corner a letter/number and you have to guide them to the same-marked air gates or landing/takeoff tracks. Some planes go faster (military planes) and you have to decide quick where to send them, while others are regular ones and their speed is lower.
- Two game modes. You can choose between Classic and Arcade to play the game. The Classic mode has levels and you advance from one level to another. It starts easy as in the first level you have only 5 planes to direct to their correct destination. Level 2 already shows you 10 planes, and with higher levels it gets more complicated. Not only due to the larger amount of planes, but also because new landing/takeoff tracks show up and planes with increasing speed. The Arcade mode is endless gameplay. You start it and play until either you lose a plane or crash two of them. With Arcade you can choose from 3 different tracks and start it (2 of them are locked in the lite version).
- Various flying objects. Well, it’s a bit too much saying flying objects as you won’t see UFOs (though it wouldn’t be a bad idea). However in the game you don’t see only airliners (commercial planes) but also faster moving jets and even helicopters. While it’s easy to direct them to the air-gates, it’s more difficult to help those land on the tracks.
- Easy controls. It’s very easy to control the airplanes in the game. Basically you have to tap on a plane and when you do that an arrow shows you where you can send the plane. Move your finger until the direction of the arrow is the one you desire and let go, the plane will fly in that direction. Similarly, when you want a plane to land, you have to guide it to fly exactly in the same direction as the track is. When it reaches the track, you’ll see it disappearing meaning landing was completed.
- It’s free. Airport Freaky is free to install and play. I haven’t seen any advertisements so no annoyances. It has a paid version if you want to unlock the 2 other tracks in the Arcade mode.
Airport Freaky is a very simple air traffic management simulator which you can play for fun or for a bit of practice to get a taste on what an air traffic controller has to do. Next time your plane is delayed in the air don’t swear in your mind the ATC, as they have a lot on their minds and do this for your own safety.
You can go ahead and download the game directly from Google Play: Download Airport Freaky.