AIR CHARTER - Reviewed by Mike
This game, for 2-4 players, involved flying your aircraft between a choice of 10 airfields set in the islands to the north of Australia, in attempts to collect and deliver the required contents of one of the two Freight Demand cards on display, thereby collecting the fixed price offered by that card.
To achieve this, sufficient fuel had to be purchased to 'hop' between the islands but there was a restriction on the amount of fuel that could be carried, this being in proportion to the load being carried, i.e. the bigger the load the less fuel could be taken on board.
The movement was by dice (this was the late 60's) and for every 1 or 6 thrown an Incident card was drawn and acted upon. This could affect either the drawing player (e.g. Engine Trouble) or all players (e.g. Storm over Malang - No player may enter or leave this area). Other cards gave the player control over the fuel dump at a particular airfield.
As loads were delivered the merchandise was removed from the board so, as play developed, pilots could make a good guess as to where the next loads were to be found and would 'hover around' waiting for an opportunity to do so. However as the game was geared towards "Urgent Demands" it was the player who actually delivered the cargo who received the money and highjacking was a constant threat. Other players would fly into an airfield before you, knowing that you had to land to re-fuel and, as they took off before you, they pinched the load you had just hauled across the oceans !
You had to pay for the fuel you used and clever players would either fill up for free at a fuel dump they owned or pay for it at one of the neutral ones which belonged to the bank…better that than pay another player. Sometimes you would take a gamble and buy the minimum amount of fuel, only to throw a 1 and get stuffed by an Incident card !
For its day this game was interesting and great fun to play, the theme worked well and it often ended in a close result after about 90 minutes play.