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Pocket Planes

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iPad
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Android
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Macintosh
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Description

Pocket Planes is a business simulation game where the player assumes control of a small airline transporting passengers and cargo to destinations across the globe. The player's goal is to earn as much money as possible, which will allow them to expand their airline with more aircraft and airports.

The player starts off with a single airplane and a small selection of airports in various nearby cities. Each airport has passengers and cargo in need of transport; the player may load these onto their aircraft and take them to another city, with the real world duration of this action determined by distance. Reaching the stated end destination of that particular passenger or cargo earns the player money, either in the form of gold coins or "Bux," which look like dollar bills and can also be bought via in-app purchases. Gold coins can be used to purchase additional airports or airplane slots in the player's inventory; Bux are used to purchase airplanes and airplane parts. Different type of aircraft have different capacities; some can only transport passengers, some only cargo, others can carry a mixed selection. Larger aircraft can carry more, fly faster, and travel further, eliminating the need for layovers. Cargo and passengers can be unloaded in cities other than their intended destination, to be picked up by another aircraft when the player chooses because it is more convenient or yields a better profit for them. Though every successful delivery results in the player getting paid, every trip has a fuel cost, regardless of whether a passenger or cargo was delivered. Thus, the player must find a way to maximize the yield of each trip, grouping passengers or cargo for the same destination together, and choosing the aircraft that can make the trip most fuel-efficiently.

The player may choose their initial region, but as they earn more gold they can unlock more airports, expanding their reach. Airports in larger cities have more jobs available, can hold more layovers, and can accommodate larger planes, but their initial cost is much higher. Occasionally "disasters" like blizzards, fog, or even power outages will occur, closing the affected airport. Planes cannot land there for the duration and planes already there cannot take off. The game also has special events in certain cities; passengers and cargo delivered to those destinations during a selected time period will yield more money but also allow the player to compete as part of a team against other teams around the world.

The player can assemble planes from parts they collect, or buy them already assembled. Once purchased, the player may choose the color, name, and pilot of the aircraft. The player may only have a limited number of aircraft at a time; they may purchase more slots as they go along. A plane removed from an active slot may either be sent to the storage hangar, or it can be disassembled for parts.

While there is no direct passenger interaction, the player can get a feel for what the passengers are thinking by checking "Bitbook," which features a series of short status updates à la Twitter (or even check-ins like Foursquare). Usually these status updates are positive, though the passengers may occasionally comment on bad weather or questionable cargo (like swords or fine china).

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The Press Says

Touch Arcade iPhone Jun 13, 2012 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
148apps iPad Jun 19, 2012 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Modojo iPad Jun 14, 2012 4.5 out of 5 90
Wired iPhone Jun 18, 2012 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 50
Slide To Play iPhone Jun 20, 2012 2 out of 4 50

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Contributed to by Lampbane (2526)