‘Pocket Planes’ Mobile Game Review
If you’ve been sitting around dreaming what it would be like to run your own airline, your game has arrived.
Pocket Planes is an airline sim that allows you to build airports across the world and manage an increasingly large fleet of planes. By flying passengers and cargo from city to city you’ll earn coins and “bux” to upgrade and expand your airline, buying new plane parts and making your airports nicer. If this sounds like an exciting gameplay experience, well just hold because the fun is about to begin.
Each plane can only carry a certain number of passengers and cargo. You start off with a few wimpy planes that can only carry one or two loads and your goal is obviously not to be fuel-efficient. You’ll want to send those planes off as quick as possible to earn more money to upgrade to better planes. Once the plane is in the air there’s little to do in the game until it lands, at which point, you select the passengers and cargo that’s waiting and send them back off. When the planes are in route, you have time to buy stuff from the store, paint your planes, and check the stats but flights can often take ten minutes or more. You’re going to be doing a lot of waiting.
Occasionally in flight, a coin will flash past and you can tap on it to get either one or ten coins, depending on the size. As you can expect those few extra coins are quite handy in a game where most everything costs ten grand and up.
Push notifications (that apparently can’t be turned off unless you kill the program) keep you updated of arriving planes while you focus on more important things in your life, but that doesn’t make for much in the way of immersive gameplay. As evidenced by the inexplicable success of Farming Simulator, people love their Sim titles, but Pocket Planes is such a very light version of this that it’s hard to figure out whom the game was designed. The cutesy style and limited options certainly won’t give sim fans all the depth they’d like, and other gamers will be put off by the slow speed of the experience. Most gamers probably won’t make it very long in this game at all, since it takes several trips before you accumulate enough cash to pick up the pace of the game.
It’s not all awful. Praise should be given to the game developers for the in-game currency or “bux” which is tough to find but not impossible.
The sad fact is that ‘Pocket Planes’ doesn’t really offer much for players to do and there really isn’t a true goal to the game. Perhaps it will appeal to folks who like games like Farmville but there are far better strategic sim games to waste your time, and bux, on.
Pocket Planes is a free app available for iOS and Android. This game was based on five hours played on an iPhone 4.
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