Adorable is hardly a word we would use to describe the fine folks of the TSA and airport security in general. Intrusive and slow, yes. But adorable? Probably never, and it’s a real testament to the ingenuity of the Kedlin Company and their new game, Airport Scanner, that adorable and fun are now words we can use to describe airport security. At least, the security in this game.
Airport Scanner’s gameplay is about as simple as it gets. You play as a security guard at an airport, charged with watching the X-ray scans of passengers’ baggage. Passengers line up in a queue, place their bags on the scanner, and you watch the contents as they pass through. It’s your job to get the passengers and flight-crew checked out and on the plane as quickly as possible so they can all make the flight on time.
Is this fish duty-free?
There’s an ever-changing and constantly expanding list of legal, illegal (weapons, drugs, etc.) and rare items that you’ve got to watch for. When you spot an illegal or rare item, you tap on the image and the guard will then detain the passenger, check the bag, and if your eyes didn’t deceive you, the scofflaw will be thrown into airport security. Literally. The guards actually chuck the criminals across the screen after they’ve been caught.
It all sounds really silly and simple, and it basically is. But it’s the little touches to the gameplay and a quirky sense of humor that make Airport Scanner a fun diversion. It’s very fast-paced and will constantly challenge you and keep you on your toes, as there’s a lot to pay attention to and manage. Everything needs to be done before the flight leaves, and it all needs to be done properly.
You have to routinely check the logbook to see what is legal and what isn’t. Making a wrong call on a bag can waste valuable time. In later levels, certain passengers will have multiple illegal items which you have to check for, and you have to also manage the line so first-class passengers and the flight-crew can be fast-tracked onto the plane while other passengers have to be held back.
We’ve decided we’re pressing charges.
You can buy upgrades to your X-Ray machine, which make checking bags a little easier, but in the end it’s your quick fingers and keen eyes that will really make the difference. At the end of every level, you can sell rare items you’ve confiscated, and take the criminals you’ve caught to court and receive a cash settlement if the judge rules in your favor.
It sounds like a lot to manage, and it is, but once you get into a groove, you’ll be herding passengers like cattle and violating their privacy like it’s second nature– and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. There are a couple of problems with the game which we hope get cleared up: Sometimes it’s really tough to tell items apart (especially smaller items that are grouped together) and tapping on the items in the bags isn’t as accurate as it should be. Every now and then, we would end up tapping on the wrong thing, or accidentally moving the bag through security without securing the item.
These are minor problems, though, and Airport Security is a lot of fun and kind of adorable. It’s got a cheeky sense of humor, very cute and colorful graphics, and some fast-paced and addictive gameplay. Fourth Amendment issues aside, if you’re looking for an amusing little diversion, Airport Scanner may be the game for you.