Air Traffic Chaos

Air Traffic Chaos

Air Traffic Chaos

Business class.

"A little light reviewing." That's how Tom characterised a chance to write about this quirky DS game, released in the US last year and adapted from a Japanese original. He proposed it as an easygoing respite from all those time-consuming, high-pressure blockbuster jobs, and I couldn't turn down anything with that title. Little did I realise that Air Traffic Chaos would come close to ruining Christmas and present me with one of the toughest critical conundrums I've faced in years of reviewing.

Here is a game that you can barely call fun - insofar as it's very much like work - but that is so mercilessly addictive it can consume days, so intense it can render you incapable of speech. Here is a game that looks and sounds novel but is, in fact, a conversion of a ten-year-old Japanese PC series. Here is a game so basic and simple - it consists of five screens, three difficulty settings and a rule set - it can barely be called a game at all, but so rigorous and pure and unbreakable it's impossible to criticise.

But I don't really have time to consider such niceties. I'm certainly not here to enjoy myself. I'm above fripperies like depth and reward and presentation. This is a serious business; there are airports to run, planes to get on the ground, skies to keep safe. Because - as the manga poppet on the box says, in tribute to the original Japanese title - I Am An Air Traffic Controller!

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