- Absurdist humour setting
- Jumpin’ soundtrack
- It’s educational!
- Solutions are debateable
- Pretty short game
- Full controller operation not supported
- Steam trophy integration partially broken (fixable)
Air Forte is an educational game where you and up to three friends take control of little airplanes and collect floating tokens that match a specific requirement for each mission. The missions are either number missions (e.g. collect tokens showing multiples of 3), word type missions (e.g. collect all the verbs) or flag missions (e.g. collect all the European flags). The main story is framed as a children’s comic-book with crazy jungle characters and a flying ace hippopotamus. Along with the surf-themed music the whole package is quite cute.
As with all games, Air Forte is not without its own flaws. Probably the most frustrating is the debatable answer to some of the missions. The number missions are quite clear however the choice to lump Central and North American countries under the category of “North America” or European and Scandinavian countries all as “Europe” can be a little confusing. Worse still are the word games. Some clever instances will get you thinking: boot is a verb and a noun. But it is not rare to find that you are one token short and there is no reasonable answer from the leftover possibilities. While I am willing to accept that maybe I’m not smart enough to win, I find issue with the fact that the rationale is never explained. That is, the game is ‘educational’ in content, not by the fact that it actually educates the user about anything in particular.
The game itself has a story mode that is quite short and can be finished in a single sitting if you are determined. Play for any longer and you may find that the endearing soundtrack starts to get a bit tired.
Technically, the software works smoothly on the whole. Unfortunately, driving the software with the controller is not supported. Navigating the menus must all be done with the mouse but once the game is started, it supported my gamepad just fine. Another issue is that (as of v.1.53) Steam integration doesn’t work properly. If you haven’t read the discussion board posts, the steamwraper2.dll needs to be renamed to steamwrap2.dll for achievements to work properly.
Despite the problems with Air Forte the chipper presentation and overall feel-goodedness of the game does help it to rise above its own flaws. While the appeal will certainly be limited for adults, it didn’t stop me from sinking a number of hours in getting the achievements and even convincing my better half to join in a few rounds of co-op.