Now that we’ve outlined exactly what Air Forte is, it’s probably worth frankly admitting that, if you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, then Air Forte probably isn’t for you.
Air Forte is, simply, a children’s game. It has clearly been designed from the ground up for that audience and the fact that adults like us are even remotely entertained its absurdist humour and bizarre cast is probably accidental. Aside from playing Air Forte with their children, adults shouldn’t be expected to be interested in the game much at all.
Still, Blendo Games have pursued the youngster market very adeptly. Air Forte’s predictability and repetitiveness may be negatives in the eyes of grown-ups, but little ones will respond to the Jazz Hans’ introduction with laughter, rather than confusion and raised eyebrows. Likewise, while the controls and gameplay won’t be all that riveting for those of us who’d rather be playing Arma II than watching Barney the Dinosaur, they are perfectly pitched at younger players.
Later levels have you collecting words and place names, as well as multiples
Lack of variety is Air Forte’s biggest weakness though and, while the Infinite and Challenge Modes which you can quickly unlock through Campaign play do help, they really are just more of the same. Collect the correct answers as fast as you can, then move on.
It’s disappointing that Blendo hasn’t woven anything more into the mix as we can see plenty of room for expansion and improvement. Most of the time there aren’t even any obstacles or enemies for players to weave around for example, save for Jazz Hans’ occasional appearances.
Air Forte’s brevity proves a double-edged sword too, providing an experience which isn’t so overlong that it’s unfeasible for children to complete it, but also one which is easily bested in one sitting. The result is that, while Air Forte is probably about the right length for younger players, it’s not going to leave you feeling like you got great value for money – especially since some assets are shared between Air Forte and Flotilla.
Hans, you dastardly fiend!
In the end, it’s hard to come to a firm conclusion on Air Forte because, while it will likely appeal to younger players in the short term, that does necessarily mean that it’s a good game that you should go out and buy. The Spice Girls were good at aiming at a specific market too, but we wouldn’t immediately recommend you go out and buy their records.
And yet, to be fair, Air Forte’s problem isn’t that it’s not very good, because it is actually quite pleasant despite a degree of shallowness and repetitiveness. We didn’t have a small child to hand during the review process, but we’re confident it would be enjoyable for both parties. If you’ve got a child of your own who likes aeroplanes, talking animals, odd stories and maths then it may be nice to plop the little’un on your knee and play a few levels.
In the end though, the emphasis ultimately falls on it being just a few levels, as Air Forte ultimately fails to take things to a natural conclusion. Adults will likely get one good playthrough out of Air Forte, but nothing beyond that, while the primary market is one renowned for short attention spans. It’s fun while it lasts, but that isn’t enough to distinguish it as being above average in the long run.