Amber’s Airline: High Hopes (Gamehouse)

Amber Hope’s greatest dream is to become a flight attendant. Unfortunately, her dark past causes her to fail that very test. Can Amber conquer her past and finally fulfill her dream?

Be warned that this review has spoilers. For starters, when Amber was a child, she almost drowned. This incident scarred her so badly to the point of giving her a serious fear of water. During the test to become a flight attendant, she had to dive in a pool and rescue dummies. Unfortunately, she couldn’t go through with the test and fled. However, one of the flight attendants leave and Hank, the CEO, chooses Amber to replace that attendant. Something that Karen, the head flight attendant, is against because, in her point of view, if Amber failed the test, then how would she manage a real emergency? Which is legit but, let me remind you, Amber failed the test due to a fear of water. No one is going to conquer a crippling fear to rescue dummies. However, they will conquer their fear when actual lives are in danger. While I see the point of testing, it’s not a true demonstration of your skills in certain areas. For example, schools often issue SATs and standardize testing to figure out intelligence. However, this really doesn’t prove anything as someone getting bad grades doesn’t make them stupid. Sometimes, people come from bad living situations and are so worried about surviving that they can’t focus on studying. Even people who don’t have bad living situations can be dealing with emotional issues that make it hard for them to get through testing. I myself had to drop out of college due to going through my own emotional issues the first time I enrolled. It wasn’t until years later I came back.

As for the character of Amber, I really did enjoy her development. During the game, she’s excited to take the test but feels awful when she fails. In her mind, since she failed at the test, it means she failed at life. Amber even lies to her mother due to shame and worries that, because of her fear of water, she’ll never pass the test and never achieve her dream. Even hearing how Karen doubts her furthers her own doubts. It’s not until the plane crashes that Amber finally has a chance to prove herself by conquering her fears. Later on, the plane will crash into the ocean and Amber, despite her fear of water, swims down to rescue passengers and bring them to the nearest island they can find. This is exactly where the Marvel movies miss the mark with their features starring women. They’re so worried about making the women appear strong that they forget about the inner struggles that make people human. The writers of this game haven’t forgotten about that and even acknowledge it.

The writers not only acknowledge her trauma, but also give her new experiences to worry about. Such as Amber’s friendship with both Pamela and Elise. Pamela is the fun-loving party girl while Elise is the responsible mother. I’ll admit, I was a little worried about Pamela at first due to her not only taking Amber’s shoes without returning them, but for her flirtation with one of Amber’s love interests. Thankfully, the game surprised me by making Pamela a friend to Amber and genuinely apologize for her behavior. She even takes Amber shopping around town. Elise, on the other hand, is the responsible motherly one of the three. She even has her own storyline about how she can’t be with her kids due to her job. Though Elise does start to get a little jealous of Amber’s blossoming friendship with Pamela. There’s even a scene where Amber refuses an expensive gift from Elise only to accept one from Pamela later in the game. It’s something that Elise calls Amber out on and Amber blames Pamela for but they all manage to make up in the end. Amber even gives Elise a gift, an iPad so she can video chat with her children.

However, there are problems in the game. For starters, all of the pilots are men, and the flight attendants are made up of mostly women save for one token man who gets transferred to security.

Don’t they look glamorous?

Every woman flight attendant, with the exception of Karen, have to wear long skirts and high heels neither of which are practical on long flights. Even Rachel Green, one of the most fashion-conscious characters I’ve ever seen, wore sweatpants on a plane. Then Amber has two men to choose from, which I actually have no problem with, one her longtime friend, David, and the other a traveling doctor, Clark. I do like that both seem like nice guys instead of making one of them evil, but there is a scene with David that creeps me out a bit. At one point, Amber falls asleep in David’s lap, and he moans about how pretty she is and how it’s not fair. One of the cringiest scenes is, believe it or not, one I actually like. As soon as Amber gets her dream job, she has to put up with a rude customer and, when she stands up for herself, gets yelled at by Karen. Unfortunately, as someone who works in retail on the ground, this is all too much truth in fiction. You have to put up with rude customers and, if you so much as stand up for yourself, your supervisor will yell at you like you’re the bad guy. Only difference is that I can’t leave the country or get discounts on flights. Is it too late for me to change my job? Anyway, unlike the rest of the problematic things with the game I talked about, which need to be either removed or re-written, this is actually problematic in a clever way and should stay in the game.

The game play is typical of a Gamehouse Original Stories Game. You go from station to station, doing what you need to do. Some tasks require you to play mini-games and, unlike the Fabulous game I reviewed, they don’t take away from the game.

Don’t worry, it’s easier than it looks.

Each level will give you a bonus task in order to collect a diamond and, in-between levels, you can play a special challenge level to get three more diamonds. These diamonds unlock entries in Amber’s diary, which I love because it gives you more insight into Amber’s character.

Now these are the kind of extras that make 100% achievements totally worth it!

Honestly, I wish we had more extras like this in the Gamehouse Original Stories Games rather than just decorating a room.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 9 out of 10; a fun game with a strong lead, despite some of its problematic elements.

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