Pocket Planes is NimbleBit’s most recent game release, and it may just be the best yet. If you’re not familiar with NimbleBit, it is the small company behind both Pocket Frogs and Tiny Tower, which have been wildly popular freemium games.
There’s no one in the industry that knows how to do freemium quite as well as NimbleBit. Pocket Planes, like the company’s other releases, can be played in its entirety without spending any cash.
Of course, the game is so addictive that you might just find yourself wanting to shell out some money. In Pocket Planes, you’ll be running your own airline, which, as it turns out, is a complex task. This is, by far, NimbleBit’s most in-depth game, and it requires quite a bit of strategy to be ultra successful.
You’ll start the game with a couple of airports and a single plane, which you will use to fly both passengers and cargo. Transporting goods and people earns you cash, which you can use to expand your budding business.
Opening an airport in a large city costs a lot more than opening one in a smaller city, so you’ll start with a tiny local airport. It takes some time to build up cash to expand, but once you’re a few levels into Pocket Planes, you won’t be able to put it down.
Each flight takes several minutes to complete, depending on the distance. I established my first airport on the west coast of the United States, so flying between say, San Diego and San Francisco took eight minutes, while San Diego to Las Vegas took just four.
Flight time also depends on the speed of your airplanes, which will be fairly slow when you first begin. Your beginner airplanes also can’t hold much or go far, but as you progress, you will be able to unlock and purchase higher level planes with much better flight capabilities.
You can speed up flights, but it costs cash. Pocket Planes is the type of game that you will play for a few minutes every few hours, and that works out just fine for me. I enjoy coming back to it when I have a some spare minutes during the day.
It costs bucks, the in-app currency, to buy planes, and while you can purchase these with real cash, you can also earn bucks by leveling up. Passengers also occasionally reward you with bucks, and you can get even more bucks (and coins) by monitoring your planes and tapping to grab them as they fly by in the sky.
At first it will seem like you’re not earning much money when you ferry passengers around, and that’s because the key to getting the big bucks is making sure that you earn bonuses. When your plane fills up all of its space with cargo or passengers going to the same place, you’re rewarded with a 25 percent bonus.
To get bonuses, you’ll need to pay careful attention to layovers, which you can earn by taking a mixed plane of passengers to various cities, and letting them off for another plane to pick up. Carting passengers for a long distance can earn you quite a bit of coin, so it’s important to use your planes efficiently.
There are quite a few customizable options in the game. You can choose your plane color, your pilot’s uniform, the plane name, and more. There’s also an option to form a flight crew with your friends, where you can all complete jobs as a team to compete for prizes such as planes and extra bucks.
To be honest, I’ve only touched on all the possibilities in Pocket Planes. It’s a game with a lot of depth, that you have to play to understand. If you’ve enjoyed other NimbleBit titles, you won’t go wrong downloading Pocket Planes.
What I liked: You can play the entirety of Pocket Planes without investing any money. I’ve been playing for a week without paying, and I have the beginnings of a thriving airline. I love NimbleBit’s games because there’s enough content to last for weeks, if not months, of playing.
What I didn’t like: It takes quite awhile to build up a decent airline. It will be frustrating at first, completing several small flights for very little money. It does pay off, however, around level 10, when you really start raking in the cash.
To buy or not to buy: If you haven’t downloaded it already, I’d highly suggest visiting the App Store to pick up Pocket Planes.
- App Name: Pocket Planes
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
- Category: Games
- Developer: NimbleBit
- Price: Free