Blowing in the Wind – Sky Haven (Early Access) Impressions

Sky Haven offers a breadth of options and gameplay features, but simple mechanics and game breaking bugs keep it from soaring high.

TL;DR: Sky Haven offers a breadth of options and gameplay features, but lackluster tutorials and game breaking bugs keep it from soaring high.

Fly the friendly (but confusing) skies

When Charles Dickens coined the phrase, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” he probably did so after playing Sky Haven, an airport construction game by developer Real Welders. Many parts of the game are great, while others will thrust you into the bowels of despair. But just when things are starting to become frustrating, a new feature pops up that makes you keep playing.

On the whole, there’s a lot to like about this game. You can place your airport anywhere, with each area displaying its own unique strength and challenges in terms of logistics and terrain. You can occupy land and expand on it depending on what your future needs are. Build terminals from scratch or go for something that’s already pre-made. Not only do you get to build a variety of terminals, support, and navigation structures, but you can also choose differing qualities of each and a price point.

Keep in mind, the only real decisions you will make are solely on the ground of an airport’s operations such as cargo areas, control towers, and utility services to keep passengers consistently on the move.

Wind beneath my wings

Many parts of the game are great, while others will thrust you into the bowels of despair. But just when things are starting to become frustrating, a new feature pops up that makes you keep playing.

Sky Haven’s graphics are pretty good but are at its best in the animated phase when you see everything play out. At a click of a button, you can view your creation and watch everything come to life which is a neat feature that is implemented well.

By contrast, both terminal interior and airport exterior look pretty standard compared to other games of this type. But most of the challenges you will face in Sky Haven are derived less from its shortcomings but from the unexpected cultural expectations. Let’s face it, gamers (pc gamers specifically), are pampered and expect a working tutorial and in-game help system right out of the box. Instead, we get something that’s flimsy and a little barebones. Keep in mind that the game is in Early Access, so many of the games bugs and shortcomings will eventually be resolved and implemented.

Sky Haven’s breadth of planned features is commendable but the depth of the gameplay is what worries me. I can live with the serviceable graphics but the mechanics should be deeper than what they are now. For gamers looking to get into the airport building genre, I would suggest giving Sky Haven a try despite my personal concerns as the game does show huge potential. Just expect a few turbulent rides along the way.

I’ll have a full review of the game after I spend more quality time with it.

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