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Harbor Master Review

Before we get too far into this review for Imangi Studios latest game, “Harbor Master”, let me just address the little elephant in the room… Yes, this game is a lot like Flight Control. There’s no way of getting around it. But now that I’ve said it, let’s move on… mostly because this game is better than FC (which I really, really liked).

Okay, let’s get on to the review.

Harbor Master puts you in the roll of, well… a Harbor Master who must keep track of all the ships coming and going. You have to guide them into docks so that they can off load their cargo and then back out to sea. All while making sure that none of the ships don’t run into each other. Sounds like a pretty simple concept, but game soon becomes anything but simple and even reaches the state of madness (all in a good way).

You control the ships by simply touching them and then drawing a path for them to follow. Once you get them into the dock you have to wait until they unload everything before you can draw another path for them to leave.

The controls are very simple and that adds to a lot of the addictive nature of the game. Moving the ships around is easy, which is a very good thing because you’ll see that it’s not about just getting them to the docks, it’s about keeping them apart and busy until there’s room to get them into the docks.

That’s where Harbor Master makes the first step above FC. The fact that you have to wait until the dock is clear really adds to the challenge of the game. And you even have to watch out for the ship that’s leaving so that none of your other ships crash into them. In later levels you’ll also have to avoid storms at sea that can really mess you up.

Imangi Studios has done a great job of adding full polish to the game ( I knew they would… their first game, oddly enough called Imangi, kept me busy for days straight). The graphics are very crisp. We’re not talking anything earth shattering with the looks, but they’re exactly what the game calls for. It is laid out perfectly and the colors make everything pop out.

The soundtrack has a nice Calypso feel to it and adds to the game. You can also use your own music if you need more motivation. One of the sounds I really like is the horns on the ships. There are three different types of ships and they’ll sound their horns when they are too close. The fact that each ship has a different horn helps to alert you to trouble.

So there’s a lot of polish in the game, but the best part is just how addicting and fun the whole thing is. After downloading the game I was happy to let time fly by while I played “one more game”. The game is simple to play… and play… and play.

There is a nice online scoreboard that’s helps with the addictive/replay value. The board tracks your best scores, average score per board, total shifts, and total amount of cargo unloaded. Each of these is tracked globally so you can see what type of Harbor Master you really are.

About the only thing I wish Imangi had added to the game is a list of unlockable achievements. These would really add to an already fun game. Some more maps and hazards would also be a welcome find in an update. (hint, hint).

Lastly, in the third level you have to check the color of the ship to make sure it gets into the proper dock. This might be tough for colorblind players, but even with that there’s still two harbors that can be used and enjoyed.

Flight Control fans should pick this up right away, but don’t feel bad if you suddenly realize that you’re not taking to the air as much as you once did. Harbor Control is a better experience from top to bottom and fans of addictive game play can rejoice that their ship has finally come in.

The Good

Has A Very High Addicting Factor (Which Might Be Bad For Some)
Graphics &amp- Sound Are Very Polished
Online Scoreboard Is Very Good
My Opinion… Better Than Flight Control

The Bad

Could Use More “Achievements”
Color Blind Might Have Trouble On Third Map.



17 Replies to “Harbor Master Review”

  1. Bessamy

    I loved flight control. So this one has caught my attention. It looks like it could be loads of fun!

  2. ErichD

    I’m sold at “better than Flight Control.” And it’s funny, I actually really like the idea of controlling huge boats.

  3. Soul of Wit

    I don’t think I’ve seen a bad review anywhere. Even the app store idiots are few and far between. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Is it still flattering if your game is superior?

  4. ally8910

    this looks great and much better than Flight Control!! And i love flight control so this is definitely an app that i need!

  5. wubb

    Better than FC? I’m definitely checking this one out.

  6. Will

    I love when someone takes a hit game like FC and then really expands on it like Imangi did here.

  7. hidiho

    The graphics remind me of Flight Control. Looks nice.

  8. roostersully

    It’s like flight control, but for the sea faring people.

  9. cathy

    Sounds really fun! I really enjoyed Imangi studio’s other 2 games too

  10. kdhomick

    Wow, what a great looking game. I like the differences from Flight Control, like waiting for the offload and storms and stuff.

  11. Kevin Stauss

    Heh, everytime I debate getting a game from the App Store, there always happens to be a review here the next day.

    Anyway, Flight Control is really fun and this looks even better (*gasp*).

  12. JCman7

    Yeah this gmae looks really fun, I have never played flight control but have heard a lot about it so if its better then that then it must be good!

  13. Super

    This looks awesome, love flight control and if theres something to beat it!

    Love to give it ago!

  14. MichaelMurtagh

    This looks Really Really Fun Is The Video The Actual Speed It seemed Really Fast

  15. Bob

    No… That’s not the actual speed in the video. Thankfully. It just give you an idea of how you move things around. But the ships do move at different speeds and those darn small boats can sneak up on you quickly…


  16. Mr. Charley

    Wow, better than Flight Control?

    That’s a pretty bold statement!

    Must be extremely addictive then.

  17. Fredenstien

    This Looks sweeeet!!