Published on December 15th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Aero Porter Review
Publisher: LEVEL-5 International America, Inc.
Developer: LEVEL-5, Yutaka “Yoot” Saito
Platform: Nintendo 3DS, eShop
Release Date: November 29, 2012
Genre: Puzzle / Simulation
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
The Nintendo eShop is home to a wide array of digital titles. Stemming from the success of the Wii Shop Channel and DSiWare Shop, the Nintendo eShop has built on the success, adding demos and video to its selection.
Those who venture online to download and browse the titles will find just about anything to their liking. From Arcade Shooters to full on retail releases, the shop houses more than just your typical cheaply done digital title.
Most of the time they are worth the money.
Recently, Aero Porter was introduced to the vastly growing digital-only shop. For those who don’t know about the game, it introduces simple puzzle features in the scenery of an Airport.
The bliss of holiday travel have now been placed into a video game. Joy. Differing from the interaction that one faces in an airport as a passenger, Aero Porter delivers a behind-the-scenes experience, sort of. The side view of the luggage sorter is the heart and soul of the game. Each piece of cargo that is dropped into the chute above has a place it must go. Whether it is a fuel cell for the lower portion of the conveyor, pink piece of luggage, or a bomb—each piece has a place.
The goal of the game is to retire from your shift with the max amount of points earned. Points are earned by using your reactive skills and sorting each color to its designated plane. The quicker you load it the more points are earned. The ‘R’ trigger drops luggage to the next belt down, and the ‘L’ button raises them to the next one up. Pushing either trigger button drops or raises all sets of arms. This is what makes the game challenging, along with the rest of the luggage that is seemingly pouring onto the belt.
The game changes things up a bit with the use of a combo system. Each plane is color coded and becomes partially filed with that color when the designated luggage reaches it. New items are unlocked when reaching higher tiers of combos, giving the player something to look forward to other than an endless day of sorting colored luggage.
The game mixes things up a bit throughout each playthrough. Bombs and VIP luggage often make their way on to the belt. The challenge is to sort these appropriately and make sure the challenge is met. The President needs his luggage on first? You’ve got it. A VIP passenger needs theirs last? Done. Doing so will award additional points and adds more challenge to the mix.
As mentioned before, items are unlocked through combo bonuses. Things like automatic sorters can be turned off and on, which makes things easier when it gets busy.
While the mechanics of the game seem like they’d add value to the puzzler genre, they don’t. The game is a bore to play, even with an interesting take on the whole airport craziness. Even strategy/puzzle games like Cooking Mama took something as simplistic as cooking, which doesn’t seem like it’d have any business in the video game realm, and made it into a fun, fast-paced game.
The combos reached are the only flare the game has. Sorting gets old quickly, even with the promises of owning your own airport. The puzzles are challenging, but the same stagnant scenery and low-grade graphics are nothing to shake a stick at.
The bottom portion of the screen is also used to show other belts. The fourth belt often gets cut off by the display, and is aggravating when trying to pay attention to all of these tiers. The directional pad moves between each sorter while the circle pad turns power off to each. This can become a nuisance as the bottom screen limits the view on the Nintendo 3DS.
I don’t know how LEVEL-5 felt comfortable about producing such a game. It is simply not worth the money, and even Bilbo Baggins might think you a foolish to embark on this journey.
Aero Porter shapes itself to be a puzzler/strategy game based in an airport. It’s as fun as it sounds.
The game has focuses on the sorting and conveyor belts of an airport. With the replay value not very high, much like the fun factor, it doesn’t go beyond a single playthrough to get the game. I realize I won’t ever get that time back, which is a shame.
Much like a minimum wage grunt part-time job, I was wondering what I was doing putting in the time for something not worth my time. The game doesn’t have a lot to it and should be avoided at all costs.
LEVEL-5, what were you thinking?
+ Challenging Puzzler
+/- StreetPass Features
– Fun Factor
– Dual screen use
– Replay value