FeelThere’s Tower! Simulator 3 is one wild game. It puts you in the role of an air traffic controller, high up inside the tower overlooking one of many real world airports. The catch? It was designed for you to control this air traffic using the power of your own voice! It accomplishes this through the use of the advanced voice recognition. This is a real gamble on the part of FeelThere and begs the question, does it work?

You start out in Tower! Simulator 3 taking on the role of the air traffic control for some smaller airports and, as you gain experience, you can unlock larger airports like LAX! That is one complicated airport – so many taxiways and runways… But, I digress… You assign a push to talk button in the settings menu and then use it before you begin speaking. Throughout your shift, you’ll have planes requesting take offs, landings, go arounds, and all sorts of things. It’s up to you to keep it all coordinated and avoid any collisions or near-collisions. It is worth mentioning that the commercial version of this software is actually sold to ATC training schools to train their students. So, a certain dryness and level of detail should be expected. This is more of a sim than a game.

Making sure that your commands are understood and followed is heavily dependent upon what you are saying. Unfortunately, there is not a lot in the way of in-game tutorials. You need to refer to the instructional PDF and FeelThere’s YouTube channel for these things – even then, expect some learning curve. After about a half hour of stumbling my way through traffic control, I was able to blurt out takeoff and landing clearance pretty easily but there are plenty of more advanced commands to learn. Each airline has three letter abbreviation as well as an abbreviated name which is used to designate their aircraft. Keeping these abbreviations straight can be challenging but you begin memorizing them fairly quickly. Important tip: Remember that the number nine is pronounced “niner” in air traffic control speak. The game’s voice recognition is a big iffy on understanding you when using “nine” instead. I played Tower! Simulator 3 using both a BEACN Mic of considerable quality as well as a cheaper headset microphone. The game didn’t seem to have trouble understanding me in either case but it should go without saying that having a really cheap microphone too far from your mouth might affect the game’s voice recognition. There were many times when I think I was mumbling and the game definitely had issues understanding me. Make sure you think about what you want to say prior to pressing the “push to talk” button.

Visually, Tower! Simulator 3 won’t be winning any super awesome graphics awards – and that is okay! The game looks decent and is more than adequate given its simulation-based skeleton. Your main view is from that of the air traffic controller but you can actually spread out various screens (such as radar) onto a multi-monitor setup. If you have the multiple monitors to do this, I highly recommend it. Zooming in and out of the view and in-game radar screen is a bit clunky, as is moving around the control tower itself. But, this is not meant to be a walking simulator. The game’s sound design is also very spartan and more focused on providing a variety of pilot’s voices with whom you’ll hear over the radio. These voices are brought to life thanks to the good folks at the Acapela Group, who specialize in text to speech applications. There are many different pilot voices to interact with and you will use their voices as an additional way to identify whom you are communicating with.

Night Operations

One are where Tower! Simulator 3 is going to be tough to swallow is its price point. At $59.99, most casual gamers probably won’t want to shell out their hard-earned cash for it, leaving it only for the more serious simmers. It might be worth FeelThere releasing a cut-down edition (at a cheaper price point – or a free demo) with, say, one airport so that more casual gamers can get a taste of the ATC life and if they want to take the plunge into the full game. Another issue with Tower! Simulator 3 is that there is a general level of clunkiness throughout the entire game experience – a lack of polish, if you will.

Tower! Simulator 3 is a challenging air traffic control simulator where you actually feel connected to the airplanes you’re directing thanks to using your own voice as the control system. There is definitely a learning curve, but the game provides a good deal of challenge as well as sense of accomplishment for completing the shifts without incidents.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of GamingShogun.com