Implayed (Episode 8): Air Forte

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I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I didn’t know what to expect (aside of planes) and what I got was well above my expectations once I did start playing:

Air Forte is an educational game. I know, it sounds boring and unimaginative, but it’s a game both you and your kid can play. I blew through the story in about 40 minutes, but don’t let that dissuade you, it’s a great children’s book story and it will keep the target audience more or less interested. Besides, there’s a dapper octopus wearing boxing gloves named Jazz Hans, what’s not to like? Also, you play a toucan plane pilot, because why not.

Meet Jazz Hans.

Meet Jazz Hans.

Truthfully, the story is more or less a tutorial that puts your through the entirety of what the game has to offer in terms of gameplay – it’s an education game that has you drive a plane which follows your mouse towards bubbles. Those bubbles have different terms in them, like numbers, words or country names, with a different objective (or objectives) given for every collection. For instance, you may have to select all the European countries in a collection of countries from all over the place. I still don’t know where Honduras is. Sec… Ok, it’s a big country in Central America. No wonder I didn’t know.

The game is easy, it’s not meant to be frustrating. If you’re not a kid, coming up with the multiples of a small number shouldn’t prove to be much of a problem to you, nor picking the adjectives from a group of words (“long” is an adjective, game! it didn’t accept it though). You may have some trouble picking the countries in Australasia if you’ve never looked on a map, but you do get to see where they are if you do guess them. It’s a great tool to learn of countries and the continent they hail from, which is knowledge many people have holes in.

Africa is like a geographical black hole to me.

Africa is like a geographical black hole to me.

Aside of the story mode, you get a challenge mode in which you race against the clock to collect elements that apply to multiple criteria at the same time. You get placed on leaderboards depending on how well you do. My first effort placed me 199th. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular game, sadly. The other ranked mode is the infinite mode – it has a time limit that you raise by picking up correct answers. Picking up wrong answers will lose you a lot of time, and generally outright end your challenge.

I have to praise the guy who made the music, as it’s great and engaging, fitting the graphics perfectly – odd, considering the extremely low size of the game (it’s barely 30MB or so).

If you don’t want such a rigid experience, you can always practice on your own terms. It’s a great way to learn geography.

The game’s 9 dollars/euros, and I wholly recommend it if you have a child or need to learn basic geographical country locations. Oh yeah, dapper octopus.

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