APP OF THE DAY: Airport City (Android)
Let's be quite clear, Airport City is the stupidest ,most annoying game we've ever played on Android. We love it, and quite simply can't put it down. Despite the fact that it's stupid and annoying. It is, therefore, in this regard, perfect.
Sitting in the same camp as Tiny Tower - which also destroyed our lives - Airport City requires you to manage an airport and its local town. Both need to be kept in harmony - the residents need shops and houses and in return will spend money and take your flights. Meanwhile, the airport needs to have hangars for your planes and runways large enough for them to take off.
Of course, there's the usual frustration with "freemium" games. While they are free to download and play, there is a constant and annoying pressure to cough up money to make the game more enjoyable, and your airport better. This is true of almost all of these games we've tried, but happily, Airport City is one of the better. Playing the game for free is perfectly possible, and enjoyable.
There are times when you'll want more money, for a new plane or an runway upgrade. Usually, though, there's a way to get a bit of extra money in. For example, we rushed a few planes back, which uses more oil, but generates more cash. That way we got our new runway, and were able to land planes that earned us more cash.
As with all these games, you do end up waiting a fair bit. Each flight takes between a few minutes and some hours, and the same for building. What that means is, you're playing for a long time before you manage to achieve very much. But, somehow, there's enough to do all the time, so you're never really left hanging around with nothing to do.
The effort-to-pleasure ratio seems pretty good too. None of these games can hold your attention for long, but Airport City seems to have a good few hours' play in it, if you enjoy the process - as "God game" fanatics, we kind of like this game. Not much happens though, so this is very much one for the casual gamer.
Performance is a little flaky here and there. For a while, we couldn't fly a second plane, which was a bug in the game, since fixed by the developer. There's also the speed at which the game runs. We played on both a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7-inch) and the performance was always reasonable. The Galaxy Tab struggled at times, and there were some crashes.
One other minor irritation is that this isn't an online game, so if you change phones be prepared to lose the progress you've made so far. We think this is the worst thing about the game, and it's something that's been addressed in the Android version of Tiny Tower, and we'd like to see the same happen here too.