Everything I Know, I Learned From Aliens

HIGH The infinite number of hands needed to pet all the doggos.

LOW The backtracking required to solve puzzles and board the planes.

WTF The tornadoes are a rather cruel idea!


An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs starts with a common situation familiar to all of us — waking up to find ourselves trapped in a cage because a dog has struck us on the head and shipped us to a faraway planet. I know what you’re thinking — “Not this again!

As one would expect, the only solution is to try to make our way through various interstellar airports while keeping in touch with our significant other and trying not to miss the next flight check-in.

This title by Strange Scaffold aims first and foremost to provide a peculiar narrative experience, along with plenty of weird characters (both canine and non-) that give weird answers to weirder questions. It can be best described as a first-person visual novel, with several… fetching… puzzles that aren’t too taxing. In fact, most of the canine conundrums can be solved by simply exploring and paying attention to the surroundings.

The most memorable characters would be the buff Muscled Sandy who just can’t wait to be sent off fetching balls, Anxious Dog who definitely needs to calm down, and naturally… Updog. Which we don’t talk about, for obvious reasons.

Graphically, there is no mistaking Airport for Aliens for any other title, since all the characters are represented by stock photos of dogs (or other creatures) with the only exception being our significant other. While this doesn’t make for a particularly impressive presentation, that’s really beside the point — Airport is clearly intended for those looking for a break from conventional content.

Unfortunately, while exploring the first two areas was a good time, larger locations started to appear as I made progress. The constant back and forth while exploring (mostly) empty places soon put me off. Perhaps by scaling down to smaller, more focused worlds with a higher concentration of humorous NPCs, this excess dead time could have been easily avoided. Worse, Dog Airport seems designed with a lot of backtracking to previous areas required, and this chipped away at my enjoyment even more.

Recommending An Airport for Aliens Currently Run By Dogs depends a lot on one’s tolerance for backtracking and exploring huge areas with no map available. While the great wit and sheer absurdity of the situations managed tograb ahold of my interest, it wasn’t enough to keep me playing until the end.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Strange Scaffold. It is currently available on PC and XB. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on PC. Approximately 3 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode and the game was not completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: The game is rated E for everyone by the ESRB. There are no descriptors. It doesn’t appear to contain any salty language or even slight fantasy violence. Still, given the overall humor, I’d recommend it to a teen audience at least.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game doesn’t feature any voices, so all in-game dialogue is subtitled. Text cannot be altered or resized. In my view, the game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: The game is controlled via keyboard and mouse to move around, with specific keys to circle the inventory and pet the doggos. The controls are remappable.

Damiano Gerli

Damiano Gerli was born with a faithful Commodore 64 by his side. It taught him how to program basic adventure games and introduced him to new genres. Then, he fell in love with Sega -- while the Master System wasn't as powerful as the Genesis, it was where he played Sonic and Outrun.
Years later, he got the idea that he was the most Sega-knowledgeable person in the world, so he opened a website in 1997, The Genesis Temple.
He's a sucker for great stories in gaming, he loves adventure and indie titles, but he never shies away from action and triple-A RPGs.
Damiano's been writing about videogames for 20 years, with no plans to stop. Say hi to him on Twitter at @damgentemp, or on his blog https://genesistemple.com (now dedicated to the history of video game design).

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