You’ve conquered the foggy island in Kingdom Adventurers. You’ve worked as mayor in Dungeon Village 2. You’ve created a household name in Convenience Stories. It’s time to look onwards, and more importantly, upwards. That is where your next challenge lies – in the blue skies above, and on the tarmac below.
Jumbo Airport Story is Kairosoft’s newest addition to their collection of business sims. In Jumbo Airport Story, you’ll be in charge of growing a humble airport into a world-class facility that’s not just a pitstop, but a tourist destination itself.
Note that Jumbo Airport Story is a paid game. This means you get the full game when you purchase it, and there are no ads, item shops, or other shenanigans. Jumbo Airport Story is available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store.
Players of Kairosoft’s previous titles will note that there are a lot of concepts in Jumbo Airport Story from previous games, such as compatibility in Convenience Stories or ocular tours in Tropical Resort Story. To those business veterans, I bid you welcome and best of luck in your new airborne venture. To new players, I say, welcome to the world of Kairosoft business sims!
You’ll need to set solid foundations if you want your airport to flourish. Your tasks will range from meeting the basic needs of customers are met, to creating a landing space for aircraft, and even sprucing up the scenery.
Before I begin talking about the basics of your air business empire, you need to know about using the space that’s given to you.
It may not be immediately apparent, but you can build anywhere on the grass lot. This applies to both stores and actual air facilities, such as aprons and hangars.
However, you will need to ensure that entities can path to these facilities. To remedy this, you can build floors for people and runways for aircraft. The game’s pathfinding is actually pretty good, so you can save on some space by connecting facilities to just one path – but if a facility is inaccessible, there will be red warning text above it to advise you to build paths.
And before you ask, you’ll eventually be able to buy more land later in the game, by fulfilling a certain request, so don’t fret over your tiny space.
At the beginning of Jumbo Airport Story, you won’t have any aircraft of your own. What you can do, however, is serve as a layoff point for other facilities. Coincidentally, airlines do have to pay you for parking and supplies, and any time an aircraft that isn’t yours lands on your airport, you’ll get some money.
Parking spaces are created by building aprons. Aprons serve not only as a parking spot, but also a place where passengers can disembark and where the plane can be resupplied. The nicer the apron, the more money you get when the plane touches down.
To improve an apron, you’ll need to make it more scenic by putting up plants around it. The more scenic an apron, the more facilities it gets – at low levels of scenery, you’ll gain a parking helper for that spot, and eventually a tractor for faster unloading. Faster unloading means customers spend more time in your airport, and potentially buy more stuff.
As plants affect aircraft facilities in a circular AOE, it’s a good idea to maximize the plants you buy by compressing your aprons. Take note that the price for plants is incremental: the more of them you have, the more expensive the next one will be. Careful positioning of both plants and aprons can not only net you a lot more money per landing, but save you a ton of overhead costs.
One more thing: at the start of the game, don’t build another hangar just yet. These will come in later when you have your own aircraft.
Despite running a, you know, airport, your stores will serve as your main source of income throughout the early game and will continue to be a steady source of money throughout the game. Putting up stores is easy – just select where you want the new store, then tap on it to confirm construction.
Stores can be both stocked and unstocked. As a rule of thumb, anything that sells food or drinks (vending machines, cafeterias, bistros) can be stocked, while facilities that sell anything that isn’t edible (wi-fi rental, books, souvenirs) cannot be stocked. Note that both kinds of stores have a monthly upkeep cost.
Stockable stores require you to select which items to sell. The more complex the store, the more stock options become available to it. Vending machines, for example, can only stock drinks, while a bistro can stock either food or drinks, and a cafeteria has 3 slots for food or drink. Don’t worry about the logistics or inventory – stores are taken to always have an infinite supply of the items you’ve stocked, and you don’t have to pay for them either.
The items you stock also have compatibility, a concept that’s no doubt familiar for players of Convenience Stories. A store’s selection of goods can compliment (or hinder) each other, and if the items you’ve selected are compatible, the store’s overall popularity will increase. Experiment with different combinations of products. If you’re looking for an early game hint, try selling sandwiches and coffee at your starter bistro, once you’ve unlocked those food items. Compatible combinations are denoted both by a circle on their icons, as well as a pink fire if they’re an especially good combination.
Food items also have a unique characteristic – they have a level. Each time someone buys a specific food item, that food will gain experience points. When the food levels up, it’ll be even tastier, which in gameplay terms means that it’ll be more popular and more profitable.
Unstockable stores are generally easier to manage than stockable ones. However, instead of having item stocks, unstockable stores can have a booster attached to them. Think of boosters as equipment that provides a passive bonus to the store as long as it’s equipped.
It’s not just items that have compatibility with each other. Stores also have compatibility ratings that can vastly boost both themselves and their neighbors. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check store compatibility: when placing a new store, look out for green hearts that appear above already existing facilities – these hearts mean that that facility is compatible with the one you’re trying to place. If you’d like a quick recap of compatibility combos you’ve already discovered, you can head to Info -> Compat.
Finally, you can use items on stores to improve both their price and their popularity. You can get these items from the Kairosoft-staple Pumpkin Shop, which restocks every month, or from customer gifts.
Using an item on a facility can yield various results on a shop’s popularity and prices, but you will never lose stats from using an item. Each item can yield one of four effects: no effect, bad, okay, and great.
Each of these results is denoted by an icon that you can check when you go to the Use Item screen: an X means no effect, a triangle is meh, a circle is okay, and two circles is great. These icons are unveiled only after you’ve tried an item on a facility for the first time, so you don’t need to memorize which items work best with which facilities.
Note that there are diminishing returns with the number of items used; for example, while the first Price Seed gives a huge increase in the price of a store, subsequent uses won’t boost it as much. Because of that, it’s important to diversify which facilities get upgraded; remember – each upgrade applies to each customer that uses that facility, so it can add up very quickly!
Apart from these items and their hidden effects, you can also use seeds to directly boost either popularity or inspiration – more on that later. Popularity and Inspiration seeds offer guaranteed boosts, which are offset by their price and rarity.
One last, very important thing about using items to upgrade facilities: upgrades are applied to each and every store of that type in your airport.
Expand As Needed
While lines are an unfortunate fact of life, long lines at your Jumbo Airport Story airport mean that your customers are not being served fast enough. Unserved customers spend more time waiting in line, leading to them spending less time making money for you!
The game will warn you if there are insufficient aprons for aircraft, but keep an eye out on your facilities, too. Too many customers and too little facilities – particularly important ones, such as arrival and departure counters – is a sure sign that you need to expand your airport.
Expanding Your Empire
Now that you’ve got the basics down pat, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. Actually expanding your humble airport into an international tourist spot on its own is going to take a lot of legwork, but the rewards are well worth it.
The Pumpkin Shop
The Pumpkin Shop is a Kairosoft staple, so it should come as no surprise that it’s here too.
The Pumpkin Shop is always available – just open up the menu and Purchase items. In Jumbo Airport Story, the Pumpkin Shop holds facility-improving items, and the further along in the game you are, the better the items stocked in this store. The catch here is that the shop has a very limited stock. This stock refills at the start of each month, and you’ll get a notification that the Pumpkin Shop has restocked.
Of special note with regards to the Pumpkin Shop is the weather. While bad weather reduces your profits by cancelling flights, rain also causes the Pumpkin Shop’s prices to decrease by around 10%. If you see something expensive in the store (such as a seed) but aren’t willing to commit the money to acquire it, it may be in your best interest to wait until the weather turns foul.
After you’ve played for a bit, a representative from the totally-unrelated company Wairosoft will appear to give you a flyer, while mentioning the date that he’ll return.
It’s very important to remember that date as when the Wairosoft guy returns, he’ll bring a limited stock of very valuable items, such a equippable shop boosters and seeds. While his goods command high prices, it’s well worth putting some money aside especially since he only comes around every so often.
On his subsequent visits, you’ll no longer receive a long dialogue box about it. Instead, you can use the flyer from your inventory to both see when he will arrive and what items he’ll have. You can’t miss his shop either, as a dialogue box will open at the specified date.
Without a dedicated R&D department, you’ll never become anything more than a small pitstop. To stay competitive (and profitable), you’ll need to constantly be researching new products, facilities, and upgrades to improve both your airport and the customer service you provide.
To unlock research, just play through the game. Eventually, you’ll get a message from Dr. Mochipon, who will request that you construct a dedicated research building. Once this laboratory is up, you can select research projects from the menu.
All research requires research points. These points have a chance to be generated when a customer interacts with a facility that has an inspiration score instead of a free. In the early game, these will include bathrooms and computer corners. A quick way to see if a facility generates research points instead of money is if it has a laptop with a P symbol on the lower left of the build button.
Alternately, you can also scrap items such as Inspiration Seeds to instantly gain research points, but why would you do that?
Golden Week is one of Japan’s most important holidays, which means that a lot of people will be traveling, which means a ton of profits for you.
Golden Week occurs around the 5th month of the year. Try to have all your upgrades set before then – the huge influx of customers is well worth the money spent on upgrade items and new facilities!
Fairs are a fantastic way to capitalize on all the investments you’ve been sinking into completing requests and sprucing up your facilities. These events generate not only a large amount of money, but also allow you to target specific demographics to impress.
Celeste will present you a request to hold a fair. Once you select this request, you’ll need to plan several things, specifically the kind of fair you wish to hold (which is dependent on what facilities are present at your airport) and which demographics to market the fair to (you can select 3, and you’ll also be shown their interest level in the event). After you’ve selected these, you’ll need to wait for the timer to run down.
Once the fair starts, a large number of customers from the demographics you selected will enter the airport. While they will prioritize facilities that are running the event, nothing’s stopping them from using your other stores – and they will gladly pony up extra cash.
At the end of each year, you’ll automatically be rated based on how much progress you’ve made.
This serves as a good way to gauge how well you’re doing: the more stars you fill up, the better your airport. At the same time, you can see in which aspects your airport is lacking, specifically which facilities need more improvement.
These awards aren’t just for show. You’ll also gain rewards based on your performance, usually in the way of money or research points.
All Kairosoft games feature a rank up system. By achieving certain milestones in profits, development, requests, and research, you can apply to rank up.
Ranking up your airport is a way of showing the world that you’re not just a tiny airfield in the middle of nowhere. Based on your rank, you’ll gain a title, as well as access to snazzy new toys that will help you with the next step of development!
Improving Your Customer Experience
If you build it, they will come. Your customers come from all walks of life – layover passengers, foreign tourists, even locals who just want to hang out – and if you provide them an incredible customer experience, they’ll help your business go far!
Demographics, Satisfaction and Popularity
Understanding your customers is the first step to building a better business. Each customer is different. In general. You’ll have many customers, each of which fit neatly into categories, which the game refers to as demographics.
Demographics encompass a customer’s general profile. Freelancers are young males, biz-women are adult females, and so on. These are important to take note of down the line as you’ll be able to create tailor-made tours and events for certain people, but more on that later.
Apart from their demographics, each customer is defined by their satisfaction level. This appears as a bar above their heads as they putt around your airport, doing whatever they feel like doing.
As they use your facilities, depending on its popularity, their satisfaction gauge increases. Filling these gauges is very important, as it not only gives you happier customers that are more willing to spend money on your business, but also unlocks gifts and requests. The higher a demographic’s satisfaction level, the more money they’ll have on them, and the more money goes into your coffers.
Where Do Customers Come From?
Customers don’t just spawn in (well technically, they do) – where they come from is very important too.
Most of your customers will be walk-ins from the initial city. These customers can range from active travelers who can check in and sleep at provided facilities to looky-loos who will spend money on your stores, but never fly. What this also means is that your initial demographics are limited to people who can travel to your airport on foot.
This also means that some demographics can only come from other cities, which is where airlines come in. At the beginning of the game, you’re limited to only a single airline, and if you want to invite sumo wrestlers or woodcutters, you’ll not only need to unlock that demographic but also have a contract with an airline that services the city where those people live.
This means that you’ll need to sign contracts with other airlines as they appear so that you can get more people to show up at your airport. There’s a limited number of contracts available, so be sure to rotate your contracts around if you’re not getting the clientele you want.
When a customer is fully satisfied with their experience, they may drop a gift. To collect a gift, tap on it. Alternately, gifts are automatically placed into your inventory, where you can use them at your leisure.
Gifts are very valuable, as they can contain lump sums of cash, research points, and shop-enhancing items!
You can’t develop your airport just by yourself. You’ll need to network with loyal customers, veterans in the field, and acquaintances high up in the food chain if you want to really get ahead. That’s where requests come in.
Requests can come from story characters, from reaching certain fan thresholds with new customer types, and over time. These are very important, as they unlock a lot of new stuff, such as new customer types, game features, and new facilities.
Requests generally come in two forms: a time investment and a tour. Time investment requests are easy: just pony up the required amount of cash and wait down the timer. There’s no risk of failure with these, and all you really gotta do is throw money at them.
Tours, on the other hand, are more complex. These requests involve inviting a VIP over to your airport and wowing them enough that they’ll agree to your business proposal. The VIP will make use of your facilities, with each of them filling up their bar, and if their bar goes all the way up, you’ve got a deal!
If you played Tropical Resort Story, this part is going to feel familiar. When you first select a tour request, you’ll be prompted to target an area in your airport. This circular area is where your VIP will prioritize their activities, though this will not stop them from interacting with items outside your selected zone.
When a VIP lands, they’ll gain first impression points based on how scenic your airport is. If you haven’t been placing plants both inside and outside, now’s the time to do it. These points can and will go a long way towards filling the VIP’s satisfaction bar, so don’t neglect their importance.
VIPs can and will act like a normal customer – roaming around, buying stuff – except they will never leave your airport for another flight. Do note that their AI is also similar to a regular customer: they’ll interact with stores as long as they have stamina, but if they get tired, they’ll need to sit and rest for a while. With that said, just keeping your facilities in tip-top shape is often more than enough to handily clear tour requests.
Once the VIP’s time is up, they’ll rate your airport depending on their own experience. If you’ve filled their satisfaction bar all the way up, congratulations – you’ve got a deal. If not, don’t fret as you can always reinvite them, though you will have to pay the upfront fee again.
While some tours involve inviting a VIP to your airport, others involve you creating a tour package for groups of people, such as a school trip. In the latter case, you’ll need to have your own airplanes before these requests become available to you, and the quality of your airplanes also factors into your final score.
On occasion, you’ll get a special request to land from a prominent personality. Always say yes to this. These special landing requests mean that a special customer will be arriving soon.
Special customers are distinct personalities that have a much higher spending threshold than regular customers. Keep them happy, and these celebrities will pay you by buying up a ton of your stuff. Some may even have a horde of regular customers accompanying them, further magnifying the good you can get from keeping them happy!
If a special customer is satisfied with their experience, they may even leave a particularly potent gift before they leave. Said gifts are often items from the Wairosoft store or expensive Seeds, so always aim to please!
Reaching Far-off Lands
It wouldn’t be a Jumbo Airport Story if you didn’t have your own airline. As you progress in the game, you’ll eventually unlock the ability to buy aircraft from the Pumpkin Shop. Once that’s done, it’s time to start drawing up flight plans!
Setting Up Round Trips
Your first aircraft requires you to create a flight plan. A flight plan consists of a destination and aircraft. Each destination can have up to 2 aircraft assigned to it.
You can have up to two flight plans, and these will alternate automatically each month. Customers who decide to avail of your flight plans will buy tickets and use your facilities before boarding the planes, and as you upgrade your aircraft, you’ll get better returns from your own planes.
Whenever one of your aircraft brings passengers to a tour, a mini-event will start. If you’ve played other Kairosoft titles, this is very similar to embarking on quests.
During the tour, travelers on the bus will pick up hearts and items along the way, and will bring them back as soon as the tour is done. These items can range from common shop enhancers to rarer stuff, such as new recipes for your stores.
The hearts, on the other hand, increase your friendship with that destination spot. The higher your friendship level with an area, the more people from that city will visit you, and you may even unlock new customer demographics along the way!
Upgrading Your Aircraft
Getting your first aircraft also unlocks the ability to upgrade each model of aircraft via the Research screen.
You can upgrade either an aircraft’s seats or comfort. More seats means that it’ll be able to take more passengers around, netting you more ticket money for the same amount of fuel. Better comfort means that customers gain a larger satisfaction boost from using that aircraft. Both are equally important to raise, and remember: each of these upgrades applies to all instances of that aircraft.
The Sky’s The Limit
And even that might not stop you. With the basics to Jumbo Airport Story now firmly under your belt, you’re ready to take on the world and become a name in the airline industry.
That concludes my Jumbo Airport Story beginner’s guide, and I hope you were able to pick something up from it! If you have any tips of your own to share, or have something to say, make yourself heard in the comments below!