Have you ever been to a busy airport and looked up at the flight board and wonder how its all done or better yet that I could do it better. Well now is your chance to change the airline industry. In the new Kickstarter launch from In a Minute, Mom! Games, Flight Plan players will take on the role of the head of a major airline. Flight plan is a route building game that features 6 continents of airline routes and fleets to buy sell and trade.
The first thing players will notice when setting up the board is that its covered in 100 short, long, medium, and ultra long haul flight routes. These are the heart of the game. The routes are what is going to be the income for each player and what is going to be used by each player to explore the board and buy more of the routes.
In Flight Plan players will start the game with 3 randomly chosen routes. Starting with the first player each will choose which routes they will buy and what fleets they will buy to support the routes. Each route is assigned a classification (long, short, etc...) and in order for a route to be active the player must also purchase a corresponding fleet. The first round of purchasing is the only round players can buy multiple fleets and routes so its a good time to maximize their purchases.
After the first turn players will collect revenue at the beginning of their turn. This is listed on each of the 100 route cards. Then there is a daily briefing card that add some randomness to the game. The daily briefing cards will give players money or take money away and can have a variety of other affects on a players turn. If at any point a player does not have enough money then they are forced to inactivate a route and take half the purchase price in cash. An inactive route remains so for 3 turns so this is a big deal as these are also players income generators. Players may also wheel and deal their other assets like fleets and hubs to the other players. Finally if a player cannot raise enough cash they can do what so many airlines have done before them and declare bankruptcy.
"...if a player cannot raise enough cash they can do what so many airlines have done before them and declare bankruptcy."
After a player has gotten through the daily brief card then they are free to take their actions for the turn. The basic actions are buying a new route, fleet, or hub and moving across the board. In order for a player to buy new routes their player marker must be in a city that is on the route they want to buy. If a player is in the city that has the route already then they may purchase it then fly that route or any other active route that connects that city. Players may use other players active routes but they must pay the route use fee listed on the route card. When moving a player may move then buy a route or buy a route then move or just move 2 times and not buy a route.
Players may also buy hubs on their turns. Hubs are one of the pathways to victory if a player has 3 hubs in 3 different regions then they win. Hubs also get income from other players if they are connected by route to your hub. Hubs are expensive so placing them strategically on the board and at a time when a player can most afford it is a key strategy of the game. Hubs also exempt a player from paying hub fees to other players hubs in the same region.
"...there are many ways to get to a win but cash is always king."
There are three ways to win the game. The first player to have a hub in 3 of the 6 operating regions, the first player to connect all 6 regions, or the player that owns all the short haul routes in 2 regions win the game. Building 3 hubs will cost at least 750 plus the routes themselves so winning this way will need a strong economic engine. Much like other games of this style it might feel right to try and spend all your money each turn but the daily briefing cards and the fact that another player might want to sell off assets should put some pause on that strategy, there are many ways to get to a win but cash is always king.
Flight Plan is a very good looking game with that will have you building an airline empire before you know it. Flight plan takes a bit of Ticket to Ride and Monopoly turns them on their ear and spices it up with some great strategy and theme to deliver a great airline themed board game. Flight Plan will be taking off on Kickstarter this Tuesday (7/25/2023) so make sure you hit that notify on launch button and prepare yourself for domination of the global airline industry.
Year Published: 2024
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 60-90 minutes
A pre-production copy of Flight Plan was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for preview purposes by In a Minute Mom! Games. The pictured game is a working prototype and the final product may differ from what is pictured here.