Bizarrely, it’s the eyebrows that hook you into the cutesy time-management charms of Airport Mania.
The flying machines of Lemon Games’s title convey feelings of joy, confusion, and sometimes misery through brow work that makes the overly emotive arches of Roger Moore seem positively subtle.
As the tutorial eases you into the fluid process of landing, unloading, and reloading passengers before jetting off again, the cute faces of the planes remain cheerful.
However, once the skies become crammed with impatient passengers and your landing strips and terminals are fit to bursting, their furrowed brows hint at troubles on the tarmac.
All control is handled by simply tapping on the jets to select them before tapping again to direct them to gates, refuelling stations, or repair garages.
The real challenge lays in skilfully micro-managing a smooth path in and out of your airport for a growing army of invading, and increasingly impatient, jets.
The eight airports must be unlocked in turn, by winning at least one of three available stars in all levels at each location.
An extra layer of strategy is added by the purchase of simple upgrades, like extra landing strips and even in-flight entertainment to placate circling planes, all bought with cash earned in earlier stages.
A bumpy landing
Although Airport Mania’s simple touch controls are perfectly suited for mobile play, things start to unravel further into the game.
While the difficulty curve is fairly generous, the bulky sprites can over congest the screen in later stages. This can make tapping the right plane and the right action a slightly fiddly experience, especially in panicky moments.
It’s a minor frustration, however, in a game that offers a satisfying challenge and, thanks to those entrancing eyebrows, will leave you grinning long after you reach the terminus.