Airport Renovator wants you to really earn your wings
It seems like there’s a simulator game for everything — House Flipper for flipping houses, Gas Station Simulator for renovating a gas station, Castle Flipper for flipping castles, PowerWash Simulator for simulating powerwashing… there’s even Airplane Mode to simulate riding in an airplane! Speaking of airplanes, renovating, and simulating, it’d only be fitting if there was a simulator game for renovating airports. An Airport Renovator, if you will. Oh hey, there’s one available! What were the odds?
Airport Renovator is currently in development by Polish dev team The Dust with publishing being handled by Two Horizons. With a free demo out now until October 7, 2021 as part of Steam Next Fest, Airport Renovator can be enjoyed by all airport enthusiasts for a limited time. As with all games currently in development, there’s a little bit of turbulence at the moment, but given enough time, it’s sure to be smooth sailing come release.
Airport Renovator’s demo opens up on a strong, potentially European (?) man making a rough landing on a derelict airstrip in South America. After turning on the power and contacting his appropriately named friend Amelia, the protagonist is told to get right to work clearing the runway of grit, grass, and growth that would otherwise make for a dangerous end to a long flight. Amelia helps out by air dropping the necessary tools after the protagonist has mastered each one, gifting players a leaf-blower, a weed-whacker, and even a power-washer! It’s time to get this little airport up and running!
Controls in Airport Renovator are pretty simple, and I am extremely happy to say that tools can be selected with the intuitive use of the right mouse button, like House Flipper, instead of the frustrating tab button, like Castle Flipper. Swapping out tools was an easy affair, allowing me to zip through all the goals extremely quickly. That’s the kind of handling we love to see in simulator games!
I’m really loving what Airport Renovator offers in terms of that good old-fashioned simulator gameplay that fans of the clean-up/management genre love. After only a few minutes of gameplay, it’s easy to see that this is going to be another fine addition to any sim fan’s library. With that being said, I did experience a few hiccups along the way. Now, issues are par for the course in this stage of development so I’m not surprised that Airport Renovator wasn’t pixel perfect, but some aspects struck me as less a bug and more as an odd design choice. For one, there’s a goat who is, for lack of a better term, invasive. He was a fun little guy at first, stranded up on the roof of the terminal. I wanted to help get him down, but he sorted himself out real quick.
After that, he would. Not. Leave. My. Side.
Part of what I look forward to in these simulator games is to be able to zone out and get stuck in my own productive loop. I love that there’s often sparse music — if any — and ambient sounds like birds chirping or wind rustling. This lack of distraction really helps me focus on the task at hand and get lost in the joy of a job well done. So while it feels odd to get stuck on something like a goat, it really broke the immersion. I’d be weed-whacking away, apparently with titanium-infused shins impervious to rocks being flung every which way, when the goat would just run into me, somehow also unhurt in the process.
This, on its own, wouldn’t be so bad, if it didn’t stop braying every 2 – 3 seconds. I loved the sound of the birdsong and wind rustling through the trees, but that goat really just wanted you to know it existed every waking moment, just in case you forgot. Your character also says random things, but luckily you can turn the voice off; the goat, on the other hand, seems to be a permanent mainstay (unless you want to lose the lovely outdoor sounds too). And when I say I couldn’t focus on any of the gameplay because of this goat, I mean it (blame it on my ADD, baby).
I guess you could spin the goat thing into something like Airport Renovator has a ton of personality. In truth, it does — there’s already enough of a difference between it and some of the other big names in the genre that it feels of them, yet distinct. Players who love these types of games will get exactly what they’re asking for with some flighty flair to match. Those who love to get lost in the weeds doing tasks like yardwork or powerwashing will find a broad approach to many different simulator experiences, so it does offer quite a bit of bang for your buck. So check it out on Steam Next Fest now and be sure to wishlist Airport Renovator so you can pick it up after it’s… well, renovated.
For the record — as far as I’m concerned, any game with powerwashing in it is, well, the GOAT (pun groaningly intended).
Be sure to check out Airport Renovator on Steam today!