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In Airport Scanner, You Scan People's Luggage

Illustration for article titled In emAirport Scanner/em, You Scan Peoples Luggage

This is actually a clever idea for a smartphone game: you watch people's baggage and try to spot weapons. See? Clever! But Airport Scanner is much more than that.

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In Airport Scanner, there are a variety of things you must keep an eye out for—from pistols and dynamite to ice skates and large bottles of water. Baggage scrolls through the x-ray machine, and once you notice the illicit goods, you touch them on the screen. It all makes for easy and fun smartphone gameplay.

From what I've played of Airport Scanner, I dug. It's a neat little pick up and play, different enough from other games, and worth checking out. (The tips window that kept popping up constantly drove me bananas, though!)

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You earn in-game cash (which you can also buy with real world money) to upgrade your x-ray machine and purchase new airports. While I played, I just used the virtual money I earned in the game—that seemed to suffice. Though, I do imagine there's a glass ceiling like with many of these games. So unless you are willing to invest large amounts of time into playing, you might find yourself shelling out real money.

Airport Scanner isn't just about finding bad baggage (though, the game has that in spades). You must also go through everybody's luggage in a timely fashion so they don't miss their flight. Here, though, it seems like almost every other passenger has a weapon of some kind.

The time management element seems vaguely realistic. And it's honestly something I'd never thought about and probably just took for granted: All those TSA agents must go through all that luggage and check everything, but still need to get everyone to their flights on time. You even need to make sure you fast track the crew so they get on the flight first. It's these little details and gameplay elements that help make Airport Scanner a surprisingly deep experience.

Aiport Scanner - Free [iTunes]

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DISCUSSION

As an employee for TSA, honestly I'm a little shocked by the gaming community's wanton trolling..not that they would do so, but at the complete lack of information being displayed. Let me clarify..

1. We don't "grope" or "molest" children. In fact nowdays we show kids more leniency towards the screening of children and the elderly than ever before.

2. I might be mincing words here, but we don't "take" or "confiscate" prohibited items (including oversized liquids) from passengers. Their primary course of action when being informed that an item cannot be taken through security is to voluntarily abandon it, but we do give them options. One poster made the comment that we confiscate items (items, incidentally, that are okay to go on an airplane) while simultaneously offering them the opportunity to mail those items home.

3. Size limit on individual liquid containers is 3.4 oz., not 3.0. Honestly in my experience, if you ever see an officer giving a passenger no leeway on something a smidge too big, it's probably because the passenger was rude and gave the officer no reason to show some empathy.

4. In 7 years (granted, not 10 or 11 so I wasn't around for the early stuff), I have never seen or even heard of a coworker at my airport taking home liquids that were abandoned by passengers. Honestly, despite popular belief, we don't make minimum wage. We're not poor, we don't want your nasty, used skin care products.

Not even a little.

5. I won't dispute any specific incident, however I have a hard time believing some events described here happened exactly as described. TSA Officers are people..so I'll grant you that some of them have a poor attitude. I work with some of them every day and don't really get along with them. No one is without their flaws.

However, by far the majority of "power tripping douche bags" I meet at the airport are travelers, who have an attitude because they make 6 figures a year and it is demeaning that they have to follow the instructions of someone they perceive as making minimum wage.

Also...on a personal level: I don't want to pat you down, dude. I do this job because it pays fairly well and for the most part people aren't jerks and at some level I think I do make a difference. I didn't sign up for TSA thinking, "Man, I can't wait to grab me some manflesh." No one I've ever worked with (as a member of the National Deployment Force, that includes a lot of officers from a lot of different airports) has been different from me. Even the homosexual officers I work with, given the choice, would rather NOT pat a passenger down than do so.

Just some food for thought.

Also, food can go. As long as it's not a liquid.