Developer: The Wandering Band
Publisher: Freedom Games
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t quite have a shortage of simulation and city building games. With that being said, the hybrid handheld console is a great fit for these games due to how easy it is to drop out of a game when on the go. The latest game in the genre is Airborne Kingdom, a unique looking city builder that allows players to build the flying city of their dreams.
Airborne Kingdom has a simple enough premise. Players are given a small structure in the sky that can hardly be called a city. It’s up to them to build the city up and ensure that the people who live there prosper. The campaign mode helps guide players through various objectives. After players complete that, there is a New Game + and Sandbox mode for players to enjoy.
Throughout the game, players will complete tasks, build stuff, gather resources, and foster good relationships with other kingdoms. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a deep story, so players won’t get much of an explanation as to why they are building a flying city. Still, the gameplay loop itself is solid enough, if not a little too simple. There are a few unique systems that set this game apart from the rest, but veterans of the genre won’t ever find themselves too challenged or amazed at what Airborne Kingdom can do.
That’s not to say that Airborne Kingdom doesn’t do some interesting things that most haven’t seen in a city builder yet. The most noteworthy system is the game’s balance system. Since players are building a city without much a foundation, they need to make sure that the entire thing is balanced so that it doesn’t tip over. Each structure has a weight, with some heavier than others while others decrease an area’s weight entirely. Players will need to ensure that everything is balanced or their city will be gone before long. No one wants to be upside down while miles up in the air, right?
Players will also need to send their citizens down to the surface to make friends with other civilizations and gather resources. There isn’t too much to these mechanics gameplay-wise. Players will just send their people to do their bidding, and yield the results. It can be disappointingly simple, but it certainly doesn’t prevent Airborne Kingdom from being enjoyable. Veterans might find themselves wanting just a little more depth from Airborne Kingdom.
There are tons of neat things to build, and growing your city to a respectable size is satisfying. Players with a creative side will have a good time even without the sense of difficulty. The sandbox mode allows for players to build whatever they want, which is a nice offering. The game runs well enough on Switch too. The controls are intuitive and there aren’t any significant performance issues.
Aside from the weight system, Airborne Kingdom is a pretty standard city builder. The theme makes for an exhilarating experience on its own. It’s a unique setting that gives players a sense of adventure. It’s a little too easy, but that shouldn’t prevent fans of the genre from checking this one out if they get the opportunity. Easy doesn’t mean boring, after all.
Airborne Kingdom is a little too easy, but that doesn't stop it from being a captivating city builder.