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Pocket Planes

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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Super jumbo

Product: Pocket Planes | Developer: NimbleBit | Format: Android | Genre: Casual, Simulation | Players: 1 | File size: 18.4MB | Version: Europe
Pocket Planes Android, thumbnail 1
The best freemium games don't force their extra purchases on you - they let you find the 'buy' button naturally, easing you into the model before plundering your bank balance.

That's exactly what Pocket Planes does. Before you really know what's happening, you're spending your life savings on sprucing up Tokyo airport, and your only focus in life is making sure that your fleet of planes stays in the air.

Plane sailing

NimbleBit's follow up to Tiny Tower continues the cute pixel styling of its predecessor, but instead of running an apartment block this time around you're building up an airline.

You start with a small fleet of short haul planes, each able to carry no more than a couple of passengers or pieces of freight. After choosing a corner of the world in which to start your new flying business, it's up to you to earn as much cash as possible, spending it on new vehicles, more airports, and better advertising.

Most of the game takes the form of tapping out routes on the world map. Each plane has a speed, a weight, a capacity, and a range, and once you set them on a delivery they'll happily trundle through the sky until they reach their destinations.

I've been winged

Of course, you can speed things up with a liberal application of bux, the in-game currency, which you can also exchange for coins to spend on new airports and advertising campaigns.

There are no mini-games or tricks and twists here - you're just running a twee airline, scheduling flights, increasing your profit, and expanding your fleet. Delivering customers and items slowly increases your level, letting you buy more planes and add new airports to the map.

A clever multiplayer mode lets you and your friends link your airlines under the same banner to work together in global events, but the beating heart of the game is the expansion of your own international travel company.

Every time your iOS device chimes to let you know a plane has landed you'll be scrambling for it, desperate to get your bird loaded up and back in the air as soon as possible. And, slowly but surely your resistance will break down, and you'll reach for your bank details.

Expensive as it may turn out to be, this is how freemium should be done.

Pocket Planes
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 14 June 2012
Pocket Plane is a perfect example of a freemium game done well, an addictive time sink that sucks you into its simple routines and refuses to let go
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Apr 2011
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NotSpam | 14:00 - 21 June 2012
Looks good no doubt. But a few questions:

1. What's the challenge?
2. How is the "freemium done well", exactly? (I'm sure it is..)

I know I could download it but I'd prefer to keep another addiction at arm's length for now. ;)