How To Be An Air Traffic Controller – Tower!3D Pro Review

Simulators are a hit and miss kind of genre. Sometimes they work incredibly well due to the mixture of being realistic and fun to play, such as Euro Truck Simulator. Some are, well interesting to say the least. Case in point, Tower!3D Pro.

So, what is Tower!3D Pro?

Tower!3DPro is a flight simulator, where you don’t fly the planes, you are the air traffic controller! The game tasks you for getting the planes to take off and land safely, all the while accumulating points in an attempt to become the best air traffic controller of them all. For a game that exuberates such excitement in its title (3D!!?) it seems to have the exact opposite effect.

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Gameplay

To its credit, the gameplay is rather complex. The player is given a command window, with several buttons to click to issue commands, even giving the option to hand type these commands for the hardcore aviation hobbyists out there. Over the course of a session, the game will randomly assign planes for the player to taxi to the runway, sometimes it can be one, sometimes it can be three, so a degree of challenge is present and you get penalised if mistakes are made, such as a plane being cleared to fly low doesn’t land or an accident occurs. The game even offers a multi-screen function for players that use multiple monitors so that they can put a radar on one screen or a minimap on the other, or many other combinations.

This game does have some serious mechanics to it and does give off the impression that this is what air traffic controllers do. But herein lies the problem, it is too realistic and doesn’t offer any other gameplay mechanics in order to spice things up. It gets boring, REALLY quickly unless you enjoy just sitting there and clicking.

Tower!3D Pro also has an online feature, though somewhat useless as no one who has the game (if anyone has the game) uses this function. But it is there…

Graphics and Sound

My god, this really is a talking point. The game boasts, “ultra photorealistic graphics” on its Steam page. The problem is that “ultra photorealistic” literally means get an image from Google Maps and slapped some objects and animated planes to give it graphics. It’s lazy graphical design.

Tower!3D
Ultra-photorealism at work….

 

And what about the sound? The only music in this game in the main menu for this game, which plays the same song, on a loop. And in the actual game, you have the basic airport sound grabs, but no music to be had, only the voice of a male or female who tell you when a plane is wanting to take off or land. Sounds good right? No. The voices are Windows text to speech and it gets grating almost as soon as you hear it for the first time. The lack of creativity in the sound design and graphics is almost funny, then you realise how much the game is, then it gets almost sickening.

Price

So, you have a game, which offers you a realistic simulation of air traffic control, but has minimal graphics and less sound design to boot. How much is this game worth?

£29.99

and that is the base game.

You can buy DLC, which will run you up to costs of £73.56 if individually purchased, or you can buy the Pro Deluxe bundle which at the time of writing, is being sold for £53.16. It is an unnecessary amount of money for something which amounts to a flash game at best. And to add insult to injury, this game is a “sequel” to Tower3D! They are both the same game! and 3D! Pro costs more! To put things in perspective, the starting salary for a trainee air traffic controller is £13,145 a year, working a five-day week will earn you around £50 a day, so roughly £252 a week. What I am trying to get at is you will better off getting a job as an actual air traffic controller rather than splashing the full amount for this game!

Final verdict

Okay… This game has a decent gameplay mechanic which can entertain people for hours if they enjoy this kind of simulation. But that is the thing, it is too realistic, so the appeal of the game wears off very quickly if your attention span is limited, and you don’t have the same amount of passion for air traffic control that some people may have.

And even if you had a slight interest in giving this game ago, paying £30 for a game that could potentially only having a couple hours play time to it (and that is seriously pushing it) should put you off the idea of getting this game.

A game which is essentially a flash game, but with a hefty price tag on it, Tower!3D Pro is another example of an overpriced game on Steam. If you are really into air traffic control, and I mean REALLY into it, then this is the game for you. Buy it and have fun with it, may I wish endless hours of fun upon you.

But for everyone else, don’t buy it, it really isn’t worth the money.

 

THE GOOD
Quite a complex game mechanic
Air traffic fanatics will love it
THE BAD
Gets boring very quickly
Lazy graphical design
Hardly any sound
The window text to speech instead of actual voice recordings.
Very over-priced
It is the same game as the last entry to the series, yet it is priced differently
2.5
Terrible

Review Summary

Though entertaining for a few minutes, the appeal wears off and shows that isn’t that good of a game at all. Even if you are an aviation fanatic, there is bound to be something out there for you that is more fun, looks better and is a lot cheaper. Take care when investing into this title.

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