Sega Genesis cover art
|Series||Koei Executive Series|
|Release date(s)||Super NES|
Aerobiz Supersonic, known as Air Management II: Kōkū Ō wo Mezase (エアーマネジメントII 航空王をめざせ?) in Japan, is a business simulation video game released for the Super Nintendo by Koei in North America in August 1994. It was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis. It is a sequel to Koei's previous airline simulation game, Aerobiz.
In the game, which is essentially the same as its predecessor, the player is the CEO of a start-up international airline. The player competes with three other such companies (either AI-controlled or other players) for dominance in the worldwide travel industry. Such dominance is obtained by purchasing slots in various airports around the world, and flying routes to and from those slots. Once a route is created, the player has control of what type of planes fly the route, the price of airfare, and numerous other variables.
The game includes numerous historical events that can help or hinder airline performance. Four different eras of play available for the player to choose. They include 1955–1975 (which depicts the dawn of jet airplanes), 1970–1990 (which depicts a period of instability, oil crises, and the end of the Cold War), 1985–2005 (which depicts the present day of economic prosperity and relative stable peace), and 2000–2020 (which depicts the replacement of jet planes with supersonic airplanes, the European Union extending to Russia, and countries trying to get airlines to fund alternative fuel research). This futuristic era was chosen by SG and Koei to be illustrated by San Francisco illustrator Marc Ericksen for the packaging art, showing two executives conferring over a holographic aircraft design in a futuristic airline terminal.
Airlines must be able to achieve the goals assigned to them within 20 years; only one airline can achieve this victory with no draws permitted. If none of the airlines can achieve the goal, then all airlines lose because stalemates are not permitted at the end of the game. Tiebreakers are also not permitted because games are not usually designed to be in ties at the end of the 20-year contest. In the rare instance that all airlines go bankrupt simultaneously, then all airlines would also lose.
The simulation includes numerous historical events, including:
- Summer Olympic Games accurate up to Sydney 2000. (Note, the 1976 Summer Olympics were in Montreal, although the game has them in Toronto as Montreal is not in the game. However, some events of these games were held in Toronto, and in other cities throughout Eastern Canada.)
- The downfall of colonialism
- The secession of Singapore from Malaysia
- The Rise of Fidel Castro (1959)
- Suez Crisis
- Vietnam War
- Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
- Yom Kippur War
- An international oil crisis (1973)
- Iran–Iraq War
- Operation Desert Storm
- Destruction of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany
- Fall of the Soviet Union
- Return of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China
- Growth of the European Union
The simulation also includes hypothetical events, including:
- After 2000, the Summer Olympics start occurring in random selection of the game's major cities.
- Ukraine joining the European Union at JUL 1998.
- Belarus joining the European Union at JAN 1999.
- Switzerland joining the European Union at JUL 2003.
- Russia joining the European Union at OCT 2005.
- Civil war by random cities and random times (Although in the game, they often occur in Lima, Peru, which had a civil war in real time)
- The introduction and quick obsolescence of commercial supersonic aircraft (2007–2016)
- Global oil crisis in the mid-late 2010s
- The nations of the world asking the airlines for money to find alternatives to fossil fuels
- Volcanic eruption in New Zealand
- Floods in Thailand and Vancouver, Canada (both events corresponding with global climate change)
- Earthquake in Sao Paulo
Major players in the game
From the beginning of the game until 1986, the Eastern Bloc countries are stuck with tense relations with Western Europe, North America, and countries in the British Commonwealth. However, they have normal-excellent relations with African countries, Middle Eastern countries, countries in Central America, South America, and some Asian countries. Airplanes from Eastern Bloc countries are small inefficient gas-guzzlers that can only do medium-range flights as their longest routes. After 1986, airlines from these countries can purchase more efficient Boeing planes from the United States of America. These airplanes become even cheaper when one of the Eastern European countries joins the European Union.
Russia enters in EU in 2005, so it will be much cheaper to buy Airbus planes. The latest models from Ilyushin and Tupolev are very cheap and a little bit more efficient than the previous models, so it can give the player an advantage when it comes to maximizing his profits.
With normal-tense relations with Eastern European countries until around 1985, airlines that are headquartered in Western European countries must either purchase cheap airplanes from the "local" market or order slightly more expensive planes from the United States of America. After Perestroika, they can purchase from any plane manufacturing company. Joining the European Union in the mid-1990s makes airplanes cheaper or more expensive depending on relations with the United States prior to the founding of the EU.
North America's situation in the game is identical to the situation found by Western European countries. The only difference is that planes from American companies are cheaper than planes from Western European countries. Since North America has a higher tourism rating than Europe until the 1990s, North America–based airlines can afford more airplanes and routes for a better risk-profit potential than European-based airlines.
People's Republic of China and other countries
Normalized relations with both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. allows all planes to be purchased by airlines headquartered in the People's Republic of China regardless of the year. However, improving relations with either country will reduce the price of the airplanes - giving the player a choice of acquiring either inefficient Soviet-made planes or efficient American-made planes at bargain prices. Like the People's Republic of China, countries that are not strongly affiliated with either NATO or Warsaw Pact may purchase from any manufacturer as long as relations are not tense (red). Relations with the country must be at least normal (yellow) in order to purchase airplanes from that country.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Super NES version a 7.2 out of 10, deeming it "a different type of game - one geared more toward strategy." They gave the later Genesis version a 6.6 out of 10 and opined that "As always, Koei manages to take a unique strategy game that becomes very entertaining when you really get into it."
- Hypothetical flooding of Thailand at flood.firetree.net
- Hypothetical flooding of Vancouver, Canada at flood.firetree.net
- "Review Crew: Aerobiz Supersonic". Electronic Gaming Monthly (59) (EGM Media, LLC). June 1994. p. 33.
- "Review Crew: Aerobiz Supersonic". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (66): 40. January 1995.