In the terrific little iOS Game Tiny Tower, developer Nimblebit tasked you with building a tower that reached into the clouds. The game maker must have decided that the only place to go was up, as its latest app–Pocket Planes–has you build an empire across the skies. The casual airline sim is a decent download for your iPhone or iPad, even if it never reaches the heights of Tiny Tower.
In Pocket Planes, you’re in charge of a tiny airline with big dreams. You’ve got a small regional operation moving people and cargo between a smattering of airports, but you can use the money you earn from tasks to expand your fleet, open new routes, and–eventually–build a transport juggernaut that spans the globe. Controlling where your planes are headed and what they’re carrying to their final destination can be handled with a series of taps, and an in-game tutorial walks you through the basics the first time you launch the app. You’ll be up and flying in no time.
Pocket Planes features the same old-school 8-bit graphics you’ll find in Tiny Tower, and they’re every bit as charming here. A lot of thought clearly went into the look and feel of Pocket Planes, especially the sound effects. Besides the roar of plane engines as they take off and land, you’ll hear that familiar airplane chime when one of your planes is loaded up and ready to fly. It’s a really polished game.
But there’s a big problem with the gameplay that’s likely to turn off some casual gamers. One of the great things about Tiny Tower is that you can play the game in fits and starts, but still continue to progress. Your 8-bit tower residents continue to toil away, even when you’re not playing the game, so that the next