The paratroopers roam the sky, with vast, rattling amoebas of propellers and minaret, forging and thundering gear that make a swoosh. It has to keep moving, because it has to keep eating. As you coast between the clouds, a painted plane slides down a curved hangar bay and falls towards a patch of coal or wood like a wind-blown embers. Many of the major resources re-grow at about the same rate, but the landscape is depleted rapidly. The lake was drained in a few hours, the hillsides sucked ore, and the forest was stubble hacked before removing the shadow of the kingdom.
Occasionally, during its grazing, the kingdom discovers fires poking through towns, small toe nail clippers in huts, and dusty mosaic tiles and cracked paving stones on maps. It sends messengers to gather the people of the earth and turn them into creatures in the air. Some surface occupants are easily engrossed in the story of advanced adventures. Others are resistant and postponed by a hint of dissatisfaction on the street above. no matter. If the existing inhabitants are happy, the kingdom will return for them.
A little less often, the kingdom encounters another kingdom-a towering sandstone palace or a raindrop of windmills, whose name is embossed on the nearby ground. When encountering such a place, it descends more seriously, blows the sun, and fills the ears of the locals with its prophecies-an ancient story of the paratroopers as the unifying of mankind. Although not always accepting these promises of a golden tomorrow, surface kingdoms usually pay loyalty in return for some favors of “getting this” and “supplying Y’s X.” To swear. Ask the Airborne Kingdom to chase a special kind of tree to rebuild the sacred grove. Another asks to bring three scholars to a neighboring city. Others simply need wood and cloth to build a new home.
The kingdom politely fulfills all these demands-very often arrives with the necessary materials already at hand-but it has its own demands. Technology for studying new building types that have been exchanged for relics from ruins around the land. Completed with hourly compliments of wood, iron, or cloth, a formal alliance airlifted (there are no planes in the other kingdoms in the first place, but the paratroopers are too happy to build them a skyport ). And above all, people-people who spin the sails of the kingdom, shovel coal into engines, staff in kilns and smelters, carry goods to warehouses, and take care of their lush farms.
With each new corpse shipped, the kingdom needs to expand and wrap the clip-on pass and stackable dwellings like separate layers of bark. At longer intervals, add new rotors, wings, propellers and fans to keep the increasingly deforming bulk high. Once allied with all nations on earth and gathered enough people, the Airborne Kingdom will form a Grand Council and bring the completion of the prophecy. What it does then, as the saying goes, is the story of another day.
As the above hopefully suggests, it’s easy to imagine a much more awkward version of the Airborne Kingdom than the game you get. What you get is an 8-hour city construction sim that is calm and calmly engrossed. The big trick is that, like the Home World Series, your base of activity is also your means of travel. This is a cute and complex game length urban puzzle based on the core of a simple resource mission with art direction that blends Disney’s Orientalism with Studio Ghibli. There is no darkness there, and there are no signs of anxiety about the assumption that the moving theocratic city-state will wash away the geography as it passes, and frankly, this feels like a wasteful opportunity.
It’s also not as exotic as you can see in the screenshot. Airborne cities differ from their ground-based neighbors in that they have to keep looking for coal to continue flying. You also need to balance the city with a gap between the various flight mechanisms. Otherwise, the morale of the entire city will be reduced. After all, eating and sleeping at right angles makes it difficult to maintain faith. However, the basics are bread and butter. Food and water are the minimum essentials. Beyond that, you need wood, iron, cloth and glass for construction. You need a hangar to find all of the above and a path to glue the structure together. You’ll need an academy to study buildings and upgrades, and a storage warehouse. Last but not least, we need a cultural building to motivate our citizens and recruit newcomers for your purposes.
The world below is divided into three biomes, each with four kingdoms and slightly different terrain conditions. You’ll know what you can expect when you cross the border, and you can stop, rebuild, and stockpile as needed. The northern mountains are full of ore, but food and water are light. The eastern inland archipelago is full of cotton trees for making cloth, but lacks coal. Each water kingdom also has different technologies to share. The order of visits and the elements that work in each biome form a city that stretches around the glorious airship of origin.
There really isn’t an optimal path through the environment. Quests may require you to create specific resources, but the raw materials are always nearby along with the required technology. This is also the case, as it can take a lot of time to move between hotspots. The setup is attractive, but functionally it’s just a collection of quest waypoints and collectibles.
As the number of people in your kingdom increases, your citizens become more noisy. Instead of being content with fullness and ample living space, they will ask you to bolt the cultural features and luxuries of the city you visit to your urban design. Temples and shrines supply the masses with drugs, clinics keep people healthy, and streetlights ensure that everyone feels safe at night. These social variables are distilled (perhaps a little too simple) into indicators of well-being, from anger to joy. The happier people are, the more people can be gathered from the following settlements. The more unhappy they are, the more likely they are to raise the stick, which will probably interfere with your operation at critical times.
In response to these growing expectations, along with a rather mechanical exploration of the kingdom, it gives the paratroopers a basic tempo of exploration and integration-but you can always study and build things on the move. I can do it. Conveniently, opening the construction menu will lock the camera into your city, and if you have the space and materials for construction, the building template will gladly snap.
Placing structures as the kingdom grows can be a hassle, but figuring out how to combine everything without breaking the whole thing is the game’s greatest pleasure. Most adorable is the playful yet pensive sandbox atmosphere found in “casual” city sims like Islanders and Town Scapers. If you balance your creations and have enough lift, you can push and pull the kingdom in any shape you like-triangular steampunk beasts with observation decks at each wing tip, roads to the horizon, and the shortest buildings. Around the fairy tale citadel rim where is hiding. Beyond balance issues, an important constraint is to group buildings by type-people don’t like to live near noisy engines and workshops, and buildings that promote production such as water purifiers They must be within the structure of the amplification.
These pressures may limit your architectural ambitions, but it’s still fun to make your city prosper in its own direction. For convenience during the playthrough, by the end of the game, a wonderfully inconsistent, but plausible maze of gardens, temples, kamado, rotor blades, to wings and fans, paths that are not symmetrical at all. I carried it along. It bounces off bullets and runs around as if it were plotted. There is a resource penalty for moving a building, but it is modest. In other words, it’s best to pause the time so as not to confuse the citizens, but you can interfere with the kingdom if necessary.
The more engrossed you are in these details, the less you will notice the somewhat aggressive optimistic atmosphere of the Airborne Kingdom, and you will find out how to avoid the dark meaning of the story. There is no military element and you are always persuading people to join your cause rather than threaten them. However, approaching a village like Star Destroyer, it’s hard to see your kingdom and you don’t feel the old-fashioned physical coercion at work. Similarly, it’s hard to see a business that receives compliments from its allies as anything other than a disinfected version of a rigorous plunder from a loser.
One of the reasons for providing this is because it feels dishonest. The game literally describes your kingdom as an empire and should not cast the empire as a savior.But before you call me just a moral critic, I also think there will be far more paratroopers. interesting If you live in the violence implied by the sight of a large flying city with its own air force and roam the setting without its own institution, the game. The Airborne Kingdom wants to be Studio Ghibli’s empty castle, Rapta, but here’s more than the whims of Philip Reeve’s mortal engine urban predators.
Another idea about the Airborne Kingdom is that it’s a strange reversal of 11-bit frostpunk, where the same concept diverges in different directions. In Frostpunk, coal secures your place of residence to Earth with a wonderful smoked spire. In the Airborne Kingdom, coal empowers you to explore. At Frostpunk, there is room for expansion by burning coal for heat. In the Airborne Kingdom, there is room for expansion by burning coal for height. Both games are about highly centralized city planning, and both games are apocalyptic, but the sunny plateaus, pools, and clouds of the Airborne Kingdom (shrinking from the cursor, like from God’s line of sight). Masu) is more attractive than the winter wastelands of Frostpunk.
What makes them different is the labor costs of all their construction and expansion. In Frostpunk, people lose their limbs due to frostbite and children start working in kamado. You pass strict laws and inevitably overcome horrific consequences. In the Airborne Kingdom, the biggest existential threat you face is those who tantrum about the lack of teahouses. Both are escapist fantasies, but one is empowered by the willingness to investigate the harsh outlook that the other refuses to entertain.
The kingdom may sell itself as a unity and connect scattered nations to the empire, but the more you play, the more you want to leave the planet behind. This is about the story you are telling as much as the research and construction trees that you see getting closer and closer to self-sufficiency. Later in the game, the fully upgraded water condensers and farms forage something they do from time to time to close the holes, not constantly. Charcoal for engines can be made from wood that is invisible to the Allies. Airplanes are getting less out of the hangar, paying more and more attention to cosmetic elements, repainting the kingdom’s dome in terrifying pink and purple, and filling the gaps in the floor plan with shrubs and streetlights.
When I started playing, I was fascinated by the scenery below. I wanted to know more about the crumbling temples and foundries, and the various forms of government and social relations that are said when visiting cities. I longed for one or two extended missions to delve into the origins of prophecy. I wondered about the possibility of an adversary. But towards the end, I felt only indifference. It’s a rarer and more civilized kind of cruelty than the urge to plunder. This game feels like the Airborne Kingdom is in the shadow of another game that looks exactly like that. It is a profound and uncaring monster that eats the world to free itself.