If you’re at all familiar with NimbleBit’s previous smash, Tiny Tower, you’ll know exactly what to expect from Pocket Planes.
Essentially, Pocket Planes is a pointless exercise in routinely stabbing the touchscreen display like a mindless automaton. Why, then, is it so freakin’ addictive?
You’ll notice I’ve scribbled “first impressions” up in the headline there. I had intended to review Pocket Planes today, but – after more than two weeks of play – I’m merely scratching the surface.
See, like Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes is intended to be played in small doses. It’s ideal if you’re reading a book or playing another game or something. You jump in every 15-20 minutes, tap the screen a few times, then get back to whatever you were doing.
And what’s the dealio? Well, essentially you control a number of airports and planes, and you earn money by flying passengers and cargo across the world. There is a little more to it (I’ll go into more detail in the review), but that’s Pocket Planes in a nutshell.
The problem is that progress in Pocket Planes is reeeaaally slow. You have to buy insanely expensive slots for planes, and you can only buy one new airport per level. It’s freakin’ ridiculous.
Of course, you can pay real money to speed things along. For example, I’m desperate for another plane slot. More planes means more flights means more money means leveling up quicker means more airports. Phew.
However, the price of plane slots increases as you progress, and I’m currently looking at a bill for 70,000 gold coins. I can buy 200 "Bux" for £2.99 and convert them to 100,000 gold coins, but 70,000 would immediately go on unlocking the slot; never mind buying a plane to fill said slot.
I’ll give Pocket Planes the benefit of the doubt for now, and assume that I’m being massively impatient. I want to at least make my first transatlantic flight before settling on a final score.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got passengers to attend to.
Pocket Planes is free (App Store) for iOS, and compatible with iPhones, iPod touches and iPads running iOS 5.0 or above.