|Publisher(s)||NimbleBit (iOS, Mac OS X)
|Release date(s)||June 14, 2012 (iOS)
September 22, 2012 (Android)
Pocket Planes is a business simulation video game developed by NimbleBit for iOS. It was initially released on June 14, 2012. In October 2012, the game became available on the Mac App Store. An Android version, ported and published by Mobage, was released on September 22, 2012.
In Pocket Planes, players assume the role of an airline CEO. Starting with a few airports and small planes, players transport small amounts of cargo and passengers short distances. As they slowly gain profit from their flights, they then build more airports, buy better planes, and expand their airline internationally.
A formula determines how much profit will be earned from a flight, depending on the distance, speed and the weight of the plane used on the route. Filling a plane with items or people going to the same destination will net a 25% bonus on each item. Players can also complete events that involve flying special items and people to a designated destination. After completing these events, players are awarded Bux, which are used to buy planes and purchase other perks such as upgrades and the ability to speed up flights.
Pocket Planes is integrated with Apple's social gaming network Game Center on iOS. The game features both leaderboards and achievements, and allows players to connect using the "Flight Crew" element of the game. In Flight Crew, groups of players compete against one another. The individual members of a group collectively perform "jobs" to earn prizes such as rare plane parts and additional Bux in competition.
Additionally, iCloud syncing is available for play from multiple iOS devices.
Similarities to Tiny Tower
The game contain several similarities to NimbleBit's previous game Tiny Tower. Both games feature an 8-bit-inspired graphic style and are populated by NPCs called "Bitizens". The currency is the same in both games as well. There are coins, which are the most common currency and easier to earn than bux. Bux are the premium currency, allowing players to purchase upgrades or speed up gameplay.
Another feature the two games share is an in-game parody of Facebook called "Bitbook", where Bitizens write posts based on an action that the user has performed. For example, in Pocket Planes, when a player sends a plane on a flight, usually if a Bitizen is riding that plane, they will write a (generally) humorous post about the flight.
The game was well received by both players and critics. It was favorably reviewed by Gamezebo.com. The game is rated an average of 4.5/5 stars by users on the App Store. Ryan Rigney of Wired gave a mixed review, writing that "Your success in Pocket Planes is never dependent on your skills as a player," but noting, "I will admit Pocket Planes is addictive."
- Rigney, Ryan. "Review: Pocket Planes‘ Airy Gameplay Doesn’t Fly". Wired: Game|Life. Wired.com. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- Nicholson, Brad. "'Pocket Planes' Review - Now Boarding for NimbleBit's Next Classic". Review. Touch Arcade. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Cymet, Eli (June 13, 2012). "Pocket Planes Review". Gamezebo. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.