What’s Your Favorite Airplane Game?

‘Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle’ kept me smiling on a recent flight.

by Danielle Riendeau
Sep 7 2017, 1:54pm

All images courtesy Nintendo

Like many people, I am a terrible, awful, nervous flier. I used to actually be a little better at this—once upon a time, I flew an average of four times per month. But now that I'm back to a quarterly-ish schedule of getting on a cramped, horrid metal tube to get where I need to go, I'm as bad as ever.

Nothing terrible has ever happened to me on a flight—I mean, I'm still breathing—but I get panic attacks. Bad ones. The only flight I've ever missed in my life was due to a panic attack in an airport, and I still don't think I've fully recovered. I need a lot of distractions (and a nice, heavy workout prior to going to an airport) to have any chance of surviving a plane ride without fainting from panic.

This time around, I had exactly what I needed. A Switch loaded up with the brilliant Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

I had played a bit before my flight over to PAX (and watched my girlfriend play it at home), but I wasn't wholely prepared for just how much the game would suck me in, especially during a typically miserable time. I like tactical RPGs, generally, and I love most Mario games, but there's something especially sticky about this one. I think it's the momentum—the feeling of the characters running, swooping through pipes, or bouncing on one another's heads. And its in the satisfaction of finding just the right approach to every scenario, puzzling over various factors. It's a relatively calm, cerebral experience, but with a bright, cheery aesthetic.

That is precisely what my addled brain needed soaring through the skies last Thursday evening. In fact, I don't think I've ever played anything that so thoroughly held my attention that I almost forgot I was in a helltube airplane for six hours.

How about you, dear readers? Do you have a game that you use as a distraction of choice while flying? Let's take it to the forums.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint's forums to share them!

Nintendo Switch
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle