Kingbeast's Lair

Growling about the RPG industry and my gaming life. RPG and anime reviews from a passionate fan. (Formerly John's Hero HQ.)

Review of Busy, Busy Airport By I Can Do That Games

March 07, 2013 By: John Taber Category: Games, Product Reviews

Busy, Busy Airport

-== What is it? ==-

Busy, Busy Airport (BBA) is a family board game by I Can Do That Games. It is marked for ages 3 and up. It takes roughly 30 minutes to play.

The product is comprised of a sturdy colored box, 4 cardboard airplanes with plastic stands, a control tower dice tower, 4 cardstock destinations, 16 cardboard passengers, 16 cardboard souvenirs (4 sets numbered 1 to 4), and two custom dice. The dice are marked with passenger or destination with values of 1 and 2. I have played BBA many times with my kids.

-== What I Like ==-

The gameplay in BBA is very simple. Each player starts with an empty plane. The bottom of the box is configured to hold the passengers and the dice tower. Around the house the 4 destinations are placed. On each destination 4 souvenir cards are placed face down. The first player rolls the dice using the fancy control tower. He picks the one dice that he wants to use. Initially players want to get passengers for their plane. Each passenger has a specific destination. After getting up to 3 passengers the player uses a destination roll. For each passenger that is dropped off the player takes one of the face down souvenir cards. They place these in the cargo slot in their plane then return to the game board. This repeats until there are no more passengers. Once the last passenger is taken each player gets one more roll then the game is over.

The cardboard planes in BBA are very nicely decorated. They include funny pilots and plane parts. The planes are made of thick cardboard which makes them durable. The only problem we have had with the planes is actually with the stand. The stands start to bend apart after some use. Applying a bit of scotch tape to the plane resolves the issue. The other issue with the planes is with the cargo slot. I really wish it could hold all of the cargo that you might collect over the course of the entire game. Right now you have to return to the airport and empty out the cargo slot. This is really only a minor issue.

The control tower dice tower is really fun. The kids love clattering the dice down into the box. 🙂

The artwork for the airport (i.e. bottom half of the box) is very well done. It is full of Busy Town characters doing their normal chaotic things. The outside edge of the BBA box is decorated like a boarding gate for each plane. This makes a nice touch as the kids like to sit in front of their boarding gate.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

There are a LOT of small pieces to this game. During the course of a BBA session the planes, passengers, and souvenirs are carried all over the house. Imagine small cardboard pieces that travel all over the house. You guessed it! It is really easy to lose these suckers. In fact I have nicknamed this game, “Busy, Busy Run All Around The House And Pickup The Little Pieces”. 🙂 The cargo cards as especially troublesome as they are small and made of very thin cardstock. These can easily get blown off of target destinations. The passengers tokens are a better size and heavier cardboard but these start to fray at the bottom edge when getting placed in the planes. Pressing them together or peeling off a layer of cardboard seems to address the issue.

My kids loves to place the destinations all over the house when we play BBA. This means they are often alone when picking up their souvenirs. It did not take long for my conniving…I mean clever…8 year old to start cheating. He goes to a destination then takes the highest numbered tokens for his passengers. This is really hard to prevent during game play.

As the dice determine if the player can pickup passengers or visit destination it can be quite frustrating to younger players. My two boys often want to keep rolling until they get a result that they desire. There is also a lot of randomness in picking up the souvenirs. Overall BBA does not have too much strategy.

The rules in BBA are VERY short. In my opinion they infer that a player is not supposed to count the values on their souvenirs until the end of the game. As the souvenirs are placed in the plane it is hard to avoid glancing at their values. In fact looking at the cargo values does add a teeny bit of strategy to the game. If for example I know that 3 and 4 are gone from the City I might pick passengers from a different destination when filling my plane. This tactic is a bit tricky for younger players to grasp.

-== Summary ==-

After playing Busy Town Eye Found It I was really hoping the Busy, Busy Airport had similarly wonderful gameplay and components. I would actually give the product a much lower score except my kids still love to play it. I guess that is more important than pleasing the adults. 🙂 If you are looking for a fun game with toy airplanes you could pickup BBA. If you are looking for a great family game pickup Busy Town Eye Found It. 😉

Amazon has copies at this URL for $21.95.

I give it 6 out of 10 paws.

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