TheIndieJar: Pocket Planes
Addiction is a cruel mistress. She drags you down to a place where you are so reliant upon one thing that you just can’t ever see yourself without it. Drugs, alcohol, sex – many have fallen to her charms, her promise of enjoyment while she hides the dirty truth that you will end up a bedraggled mess, a shadow of your former self. I am ashamed to say that I have looking into the eyes of addiction and succumbed to her forbidden dance. Ladies and gentlemen of The Game Jar I, Joey Dale, am addicted… to Pocket Planes.
Nimblebit, who were the developers behind Tiny Tower, have created another life-consuming game for mobile devices. Pocket Planes starts off by choosing a region to operate your planes from and then off you go, building your aircraft Empire into the skies. There are a few cities in that region open for you from the start and as you progress through the levels, by completing flights and moving passengers or cargo from one city to the next, you are given the opportunity to open up new airports in new cities. There are two forms of currencies within the game; coins which are free to earn predominantly, and Bux which are a bit harder to come by – you get a few every time you level up, or you can purchase them using real money micro-transactions at a pretty reasonable rate.
Coins build up by delivering your cargo to different cities and these, as well as opening up the new airports, allow you to add more planes to your fleet by opening up another slot. You can then purchase new planes using Bux – either buying the planes readymade, or building planes from purchasing parts or finding them when you open up new airports.
“…knowing when to accept fares and when to layover in certain airports to maximise profit is just so god damn addictive.”
The thing I have found with Pocket Planes is that is essentially just you pressing buttons in a menu – there is no ‘skill’ in it as such, but knowing when to accept fares and when to layover in certain airports to maximise profit is just so god damn addictive. I have found myself locking my iPhone and turning back to my screen to work/play another game and then I get a notification telling me that a plane has landed at its destination. As soon as I see that notification I find myself drawn to the game like a paedophile to a school. I can’t really explain why either. I want a new plane, I want to open up a new airport and I just need to see my next plane in the air taking some happy passengers on their holiday.
As well just ferrying people and objects backwards and forwards there are also events that happen at different cities around the world which give you an opportunity to earn extra cash. For example, at the moment there is a Pirate Party going on in Bergen so throughout Europe people dressed as pirates are looking to be flown out for some good times – I am trying my best to get as many of them out there.
You can also join a Flight Crew by just making sure you and a few mates call your Flight Crew the same thing; it’s a nice little social inclusion that really only just tops up leader boards and pits you against other flight crews when completing global challenges. Game Centre support and achievements are also in the game for those of you who like achievement hunting on your phone (do any of you actually do that!?) so there is a lot to keep you going.
I never played Tiny Towers so I’m not sure how Pocket Planes stacks up to that but I can tell you one thing – I am hooked, and as a freemium game Pocket Planes is nothing short of outstanding. It’s great if you are trying to kill some time be it on a train, just before heading to bed or dropping the kids off at the pool. You have to try Pocket Planes, but be warned you may also succumb to it’s addictive personality.
Download on the app store.
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