I’m subbing in this week as an App-aholic aficionado for a new game that is taking the Internet by storm; Pocket Planes, by Nimblebit, LLC. makers of other addictive games such as Sky Burger and Tiny Tower.
Pocket Planes is, as you may have guessed, a game about planes. But not just planes, it’s about owning and operating your own airline. It’s a cross between a Sim(s) game and Risk…if you’re competitive, which I am.
As the game starts out you’re presented with six regions of the world to start your fledgling airline. Each presents its own challenges and opportunities. I choose to start in Asia, more specifically Japan. Initially I was provided with access to four airports (three class one and one class two). The class of the airport determines several things, such as the amount of fairs you can expect to find at any given time and the kinds of airplanes that can land there.
The goal of the game is what you make of it. For me it was aggressive expansion as quickly as I could. As soon as I had larger class two planes (what I call Trans-Atlantics) I pushed far to the West from Asia, into the Middle-East, Europe and eventually North & South America.
But this proved to be folly because I had expanded too early. I didn’t have enough plans that could make the long trip from London to Boston and so fairs were often left unattended. Eventually I closed all my expansion airports (earning back half the funds it cost to build there) and focusing once again on Japan and Asia until I was able to grow my airline to a much healthier state.
The nitty-gritty details you need to know:
There are three classes of airport and three corresponding classes of planes. Class one planes can go anywhere but are the only planes that can land at “black dot” cities (the smaller destinations with populations under four million). Class two planes can go to “blue dot” and “red dot” cities, which are the mid-level and major cities. Class three planes can only land at “red dot” cities.
The seating and cargo capacity of planes increases as you level up and have access to higher class planes. All the way up to the seventeen capacity Cloudliners. Each type of plane has three series’: one strictly for passengers, one strictly for cargo and one allows for the combination of the two.
There are two forms of currency in the game: coins and bux. Both can be earned by delivering passengers and cargo and both are available during the in-flight sequence where they fly through the air across the screen. To capture their value, simply click on them as they go by. Coins are used to buy new airports, upgrade airports and advertise. Bux are used to buy planes, plane parts and to upgrade planes (to make them go further, go faster or be lighter).
Build your fleet. The more planes you have the more money you can make. Seems simple enough, but it’s important.
Use layovers. It’s an easy way to make serious money. Pick two airports, one on either extreme of your empire to act as the layover point and shuttle passengers to those locations. This will allow you to always have passengers and the layovers allow you to bolster your individual flight revenue.
Maximize your airports, but be linear. The more airports you have the more traffic you’ll have at each airport you operate. It’s also important to make your flights as direct as possible. A lot of zig-zagging will cause your flights to be longer, costing more in fuel and limiting your revenue.
Group your passengers, even if that means leaving planes on the ground. When you fill your plane with all passengers going to the same destination you earn a 25% bonus. This can be huge! Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to bux, only coin passengers. Bux can also be sold for coins at a base exchange rate of 1 bux = 500 coins (the exchange rate becomes more favorable the more bux you sell)
I hope you enjoyed this app review! The game is a blast and definitely worth the $0.00 investment. Be warned, though, it’s highly addictive.