When we reviewed Flight Control, which sat in the top ten of the App Store for months, we found it to be a simple, winning concept. Harbor Master takes this blockbuster formula and makes great improvements to it with new mechanics such as cannons, cargo, and leading boats both in and out of ports.
As the title suggests, the game has you playing the role of a harbor master at various ports. Your primary goal is to make sure cargo and ships get in and out safely. The core mechanic of the game is the same as Flight Control. You simply draw a line from a boat to where you want it to go.
The major difference with this game, however, is the cargo system. Once your boat lands in the port, it will immediately begin to unload what it is carrying. Once it’s done, you must send it back out to sea. If two boats crash along the way, your shift ends. Larger boats (there are three different sizes) carry more cargo and move slower, so strict management is the key to running your port smoothly.
Any port in a storm.
At the moment there are four ports to play, although the developer promises a new one every two weeks. Two of the existing levels stay true to the ‘normal’ formula, but others add an increased challenge. For example, Sturgeon Creek has you sending differently colored cargo to specific docks, while Cannon Beach arms you with a cannon to destroy oncoming pirate ships. There are also whirlpools in Cyclone Island, which turn your boat around and force you to create their path again. These features enhance the gameplay by leaps and bound over similar games.
Harbor Master also includes the mandatory online leaderboards, where it keeps track of the total number of shifts worked and cargo received by all players across every level, as well as individual high scores. Every player has a personal profile that others can check to see how they rank across all the ports.
One feature that is absent in this game, however, is multiplayer. In Flight Control, players can connect via Bluetooth in order to work together to finish levels. This is something that would round out the package in Harbor Master even further, and we hope the developer adds multiplayer in an update.
If you were a fan of Flight Control and want a game that takes the concept to the next level, Harbor Master is just for you. We suggest sailing over to the App Store to pick this one up now.