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Airborne Kingdom Switch Review – A Slough Through the Skies

Airborne Kingdom Switch Review – A Slough Through the Skies

Airborne Kingdom is a game that looks to take the city-management genre to the next level, making allegiances, flying across the land, and recruiting citizens from all over the globe. With an art style that mixes classic board games like Catan with gameplay like Sim City, it looks like we have something fun and unique here.

While flying through the sky to gather resources, complete quests, and trying to balance your city and its needs, does Airborne Kingdom soar or does it crash down? Let’s find out!

Airborne Kingdom is a city-management/resource management game revolving around a floating city. Being a floating town, you must not only worry about resources like wood, metal, food, water, and glass, but also tilt, lift, and propulsion.

Tilt is a fantastic balancing act, as putting too many buildings on one side of the airship will slow down the ship and make the citizens living on the ship mad. Propulsion is also a nice addition to the city management genre, as the town gets heavier it slows down. To balance this out, the player can build things like propellers to jet engines to help speed up travel. 

Where this starts to not work is lift. While the idea itself is fine, it adds one too many resources to manage, because life isn’t just a simple build a propeller and it works, it needs to also be powered by coal. If coal runs out, hope your save game isn’t too far back, because it’s an instant game over. The real issue is that if the town is in the middle of a journey there is just no way to make an emergency stop and hope some citizens will fly to a nearby coal deposit, because resources like food, water, and coal burn down constantly. 

During the beginning hours, this is okay because the town itself is generally small and growing the town out is quite slow. Eventually, the town gets big enough where it is a constant slough where the town needs to go from resource to resource just to stay afloat. The one upside to this is that resources do replenish on the map.

One place where Airborne Kingdom excels is the art direction, with the world looking like a game of Catan, the airship itself looks incredibly detailed and very much Arabian inspired with the buildings available to the player, and it is gorgeous.

The music accompaniment is also rightly gorgeous and somber lending itself well to the early game where there isn’t too much to worry about. Airborne Kingdom works really well entering its creative mode where the player doesn’t have to worry about the resource management side of things and is just given the freedom to create whatever we desire.

While the story itself seems more of a plot device to try and make sense of why the player is in control of a floating city, it is largely forgettable and isn’t necessary as once the game starts it is mostly flying around trying to build and maintain, so the story gets lost in the background.

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When or if the city crashes, it bumps you out to the main menu and the options presented are either start a new game or continue. The unfortunate thing is the autosave feature does not save often enough. Every time I had to load a save that wasn’t a manual save, I would be looking at some serious time loss, the worst was around 15 minutes. In a city and resource management game, that can feel like an eternity, especially if you play with the speed set to 4x.

Overall, Airborne Kingdom tries to add some tight resource elements into the city management genre, and while it works in the early game, the late game gets bogged down by needing to constantly hunt down resources while trying to remain afloat. While the story is rudimentary at best, the art style and music are outstanding.

It all comes together in sort of an above average experience. If you love the city management genre, this is definitely something you will want to check out, but if this is your first experience with city management, your best bet is to look somewhere else, unfortunately.

Airborne Kingsom Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Publisher: Freedom Games
Developer: The Wandering Band
Release Date: November 9th, 2021
Price: $24.99£19.99
Game Size: 883 MB


Great Soundtrack

Visual art style is gorgeous


Slows down a lot in later hours

Resource management becomes a chore

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