NimbleBit gets ready to take to the skies with Pocket Planes

NimbleBit, they of Tiny Tower and Pocket Frogs fame, have used GDC to announce their newest iOS game, Pocket Planes. The basic premise of the game finds players working as a sort of sky taxi, picking up passengers and cargo at one location and then dropping them off somewhere else. Oh, the life of a jet-setting pilot. How glamorous.

Pocket Planes

Pocket Planes

Players will start off small, flying short-haul runs to regional airports with tiny planes. As is expected, progression is rewarded with bigger planes, more exotic locales and the opportunity to make a healthy amount of cash. Right now the plan is for each plane to be superficially customizable, letting players swap the paint jobs or pilots, but the vehicles themselves will have static statistics based on real-world vessels. In other words, don’t expect to take a two-seat prop plane from New York to Abu Dhabi.

While the money to upgrade your fleet can be purchased in the app, NimbleBit is also quick to point out that currency can be earned through play, so you can still get the full experience simply by devoting time to the game. The team is looking back to Tiny Tower for inspiration, as that title seemed to perfect balance the steady drip of rewards while still tempting players to buy a few Tower Bux to reach that next goal.

Pocket Planes

Pocket Planes

Pocket Planes appears to be NimbleBit’s most strategic game yet, complete with a robust economy which players must learn to efficiently exploit. Longer flights earn you more money, but they also cost more to complete, so wannabe pilots will have to decide whether it’s better to take a handful of people and a smattering of cargo to a far-off airport for a substantial fee, or pack the cabin and cargo hold for short haul flights that earn per capita cash. Much like an actual airline you’ll have to weigh your costs vs income potential, which will add a nice layer of strategy. On top of all that, players can even opt to buy specific planes in the hopes of specializing as an international cargo hauler or leading passenger airline. You can really play however you want.

Even though Pocket Planes was announced today, NimbleBit has made it clear that the finished product is still a long way off. Even so, we’re very intrigued by what is looking to be a really interesting experience. The team has already proven they’re great at building titles which can be nearly impossible to put down, and this entry is looking like it has the potential to be their best offering yet.