Harbor Master is an addictive game where your goal is to direct incoming ships to the loading docks. The concept is not unlike that of the infamous Flight Control, but Imangi Studio adds a twist. You also have to direct them back out again! Things get pretty wild after a while, as you try to guide multiple ships in and out while trying to stop them from running into each other!
There are three different harbors, but when you play for the first time you’ll see that only one is unlocked. To unlock the other two, you have to earn high scores by playing the unrestricted harbor. To play, simply touch and drag your finger from the ship to a dock. The course will be charted and once it gets there, it will unload it’s cargo. When the ship is pointing back towards the water, you’ll be able to chart it’s destination offscreen. A flashing arrow will indicate where the next ship will be coming from. It’s pretty simple at first, but as the game progresses and more ships are on the screen at once, you run the risk of collisions.
Something else that you need to keep in mind is that the ships all move at different paces. This causes things to get pretty stressful when you’re waiting for a ship to unload while a very fast ship is making a beeline towards that particular dock. If your docks are full, you CAN make the ships kind of detour around the harbor, but that will highly increase your risk of crashing.
Once you gain availability to the other two harbors, you’ll see that they’re set up a bit differently. They have different numbers of docks and one of them even has colored docks that you have to match the ships to. Another one has water spouts that you have to avoid! The game has a nice gradual increase to harder levels, but once you get up there, watch out! The fight to survive can get your hands mighty clammy.
Basically, Harbor Master is a more challenging version of Flight Control and is every bit as addicting! The three different “levels” keep things interesting, and the need to beat your own (or a friend’s) score is relentless. There is even a global scoreboard that you can add to by simply entering your email address. The game is just well done in general. In addition to the successful game concept, the graphics are crisp and the soundtrack is fitting. The price tag, combined with multiple save options and hours of addicting gameplay definitely make it a must-have!