Airlines is an underrated airline management sim from Interactive Vision (who is actually hard at work on Airlines 2, slated for an early 2002 release).
In contrast to Air Bucks, Airlines is a complex sim with a steep learning curve. Although the game offers a lot of real-world options and a wide variety of airplanes, the designer somehow chose to make the game play in real time. That?s right?business acumen is not enough to succeed in Airlines: you need to think and act quickly before a day is over (or use slowdown programs to make it run very slowly). The clock advances 4 hours at a time, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything in a day.
Once you get used to the real-time gameplay, though, Airlines will draw you in (that is, if you like serious business sims) with its solid economic model, tough computer competitors, and a range of options that allow you to fine-tune your airline in much greater detail than Air Bucks. I found that the supply and demand curves in the game are a bit too inelastic and loan sharks a bit too unforgiving, but these are just minor gripes that make the game more challenging.
Overall, if you enjoy serious business sims and don?t mind ?dry? presentation and boring graphics, Airlines is well worth a look, especially if you find Air Bucks too simplistic. Recommended!