Amber’s Airline: Seven Wonders (Gamehouse)

Amber’s back and she’s leading a tour of the Seven Wonders of the world! Will this trip go smoothly, or will there be new obstacles in her path?

Spoiler alert, this trip does not go smoothly and that will not be where the spoilers end. If you want to go into this game fresh, you’ll want to skip to the last paragraph of my review. I’ll admit, the prospect of exploring the Seven Wonders does sound like a dream tour. However, the trip itself is not a dream. Amber not only lost her old diary, but a news reporter stole it and used it for his article. Pamela’s secretly dating a passenger named Fabio (I’m not kidding, that’s actually his name) and is afraid of losing her job over it. Kyle’s on probation over the crash in the last game and has to take a leave of absence, leaving Madelyne to take over, David’s been hanging out with a new girl who shares his interest in architecture, making Amber jealous and Elise is not only pregnant but might give birth on the trip.

I take that back, she will give birth on the trip.

To top it off, one of the passengers has cancer but is trying to push through it for one last trip with her wife.

That’s right, Gamehouse officially has its first lesbian couple! Though one of them has their hair cut short to make it more of what society defines as a “clear cut gender role relationship,” but it’s progress. I’ll give it that. I also do like the characters of Faith and Ethel as they seem like real people rather than cardboard cutouts. Remember when I said that one of the passengers has cancer? Well that passenger is Faith, so she and Ethel are going on this tour of the Seven Wonders to have some happy memories before she dies. When Faith does die, it absolutely breaks your heart and their relationship is healthy and loving as opposed to Amber and David’s love triangle and Pamela getting conned by a sleazeball. Clark is still in the series as the other option for Amber but, in this game, you can tell that the man Amber loves is David who, as I said in the first paragraph, is hanging out with another woman, Ashley, who loves architecture as much as he does. However, Ashley is not some shallow and vapid mean girl who shows irrational jealousy of Amber. She’s actually nice to Amber and even tells her that, if there’s something between her and David, then Ashley won’t get in the way. I have to say, this is a nice change from the two love interest options seeing each other as competition. Pamela, on the other hand, is clearly taking her stupid pills. She’s been getting free stuff for Fabio in secret because he lied and said that flight attendants aren’t allowed to date passengers. As someone who’s watched Amber’s public relationship drama, Pamela should know that it’s not true. Even Amber points that out to her and Pamela realized how stupid she was being, finding out that her new “boyfriend” is a con-artist and Fabio’s not even his real name. I’m glad that the characters pointed out how stupid they were being, but it doesn’t make the plot itself any less dumb.

Remember when I mentioned that a reporter stole Amber’s diary? That reporter was the one who put in the paper that Kyle was responsible for the crash in the last game. Which is why he has to take a leave of absence, so the airlines get Madelyne to replace him. That’s right, the game actually has a woman pilot but no man flight attendant. Though Madelyne and Justin don’t exactly get off on the right foot. Mainly because Justin doesn’t like someone taking Kyle’s place but partly because the reporter knew things he would only know if someone from the airline leaked information. So, Justin can’t trust anyone and, when Madelyne calls him out for his treatment of her, he tells her this. Though Madelyne admits that she’s had her share of sexism due to her career choice and thinks that’s what Justin feels towards her but it’s not the case here. I like that the game still acknowledges sexism but also says that, with Justin, sexism isn’t the issue. Getting back to Amber, Justin not being able to trust anyone is part of why she’s afraid to tell people that a reporter stole her old diary. She’s scared of losing her job which she worked so hard to get and of betraying her friends. Yet, in the end, she tells everyone that she got careless with her diary and earns the ire of everyone present.

Unfortunately, that ire goes away by the next venue. Which introduces the problem I have with the storyline in this game, lack of payoff. First, I want to say that I don’t think it was Amber’s fault that the reporter got information he wasn’t supposed to know. What happened was an accident and, while Amber should’ve been more careful with her diary, the fault is still on the reporter who took it. However, Amber spent the whole game worried about what would happen if anyone found out and, when they do find out, there’s just nothing. No anger, no punishment, nothing. That’s not the only element in the story that shows lack of payoff. In the game, Amber finds a picture of herself when she was a kid that belongs to an older man she met. I’m sure anyone with half a brain can figure out that the older man’s her father and, when he finally talks to her, everything’s just fine. No anger for him abandoning her, nothing! Just a happy ending that a man didn’t even deserve because he was too much of a coward to stick around! Those of you who have read my review for Hospital Heat know what my thoughts are on parental abandonment, so I won’t bore you. As for who caused the crash in the last game, it wasn’t Kyle but a depressed air traffic controller who buried himself in his work. Yeah, if there’s anyone who works air traffic control reading this review, please for the love of God do NOT come into work when you’re depressed! There are lives that depend on you and, if you don’t have a clear head, you could make a mistake in your job that could have severe consequences.

The game play is just like the last game, with you handling various customers and taking them to their requested location. Then you take care of them and send them on their way.

Just another day in the airlines.

Some customers come with mini games you have to play and every level comes with a bonus objective you need to complete in order to get a diamond. You only need one star to pass the level but try for three, if you feel lucky. As for what you spend the diamonds on, you can spend them on new flight attendant uniforms made by Angela herself! That’s right, Angela’s making a cameo right after her last game and it’s actually a fitting one where she gets to use her talents! If that’s not enough, when you collect an achievement, you unlock a page of Amber’s diary! I love it when that’s the prize because I love being able to delve deeper into the mind of the characters!

This game is addictive, but suffers from lack of payoff. I give it a 7 out of 10; great storyline with strong women who support each other, but came to some lackluster conclusions.

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