iOS Gaming with Hero Academy and Pocket Planes

Hero Academy steam

We said it was going to be kind of dead around here, and boy, we weren’t kidding. I can’t really speak for the other dudes, but summer is kind of the time where real life takes precedent over other things, so sorry about that. When the weather turns grey and people retreat back into their homes, that’s around when gaming news picks up again.

That said, it’s not like there’s nothing to talk about, as my iOS devices have been getting a fair bit of use recently with some newly discovered games I’ve been playing: Pocket Planes and Hero Academy.

Pocket Planes is made by NimbleBit, who struck it big with their tower management sim game Tiny Tower. Those rascals are back at it, but this time you’re trying to turn a fledgling airline into a global powerhouse. You start off with small planes in one region and eventually expand your operation to be global, gathering bigger and bigger planes and opening new airports. It functions on the same “hurry up and wait” mechanic that Tiny Tower did, where you have to just let the game sit while your planes travel from point to point, but you can use Bux to speed them along their way. It lacks the same inherently addictive quality that Tiny Tower had, but hearing the little “ding” notification whenever one of your planes arrives is a Pavlov’s bell that’s hard to ignore. You have the ability to join a flight crew to earn aircraft parts and Bux, and there’s a minimal amount of jobs you need to complete for each challenge to be elegible for the reward. It’s a great way to get a little boost if you can participate and helps make Pocket Planes feel less isolated than Tiny Tower did. Continue reading iOS Gaming with Hero Academy and Pocket Planes

Tiny Tower is the Dumbest Game I Can’t Stop Playing

I don’t know why Jeff gets the rap around here as the iOS game guy, I’m just as guilty as putting as much time into my iPhone as my PC or consoles. Maybe it’s because I play more than two or three of the major triple A titles every year, but I digress.

Recently I’ve become addicted to a game called Tiny Tower made by NimbleBit. It’s actually been out for quite a while but I didn’t check it out until recently. This is one of the benefits of iPhone gaming, in my opinion, there’s not really a rush to get to the newest titles quickly (there are exceptions like Sword and Sworcery and Infinity Blade). Mechanically the game is very similar to Game Dev Story, but instead of running a studio, you build and maintain an apartment/shopping center and stock it with stores for your little “bitizens” to work in. There’s actually very little game here after the opening few hours; aside from a bit of re-stocking every now and then and building new floors, the game is hands-off for most of the time.

So why am I so addicted to it? Part of it is that the game taps into the aspect of my personality that really loves sim titles. Even if Tiny Tower requires very little attention from me, I still like the feeling of running something and micro-managing different aspects of it if I can. Even though the stores you get are random (and fall into different categories like retail, service and food, to name a few) you still need to staff them with bitizens who are good at those types of job, and try to get them into their dream jobs if you can. Another reason I really like Tiny Tower is because the game works on a similar concept to the Achievement noise, as the it will constantly chime at you when it needs to be re-stocked or when something else happens. It’s the definition of Pavlov’s Bell, and I hate it and love it for that. It’s the perfect game to have on your phone because it requires little attention and even when you have it open it only has you doing menial tasks like moving the elevator between floors.

So much of my time is spent glued to my phone because of this game, even though I spend very little of that time actually doing something. Have you guys tried Tiny Tower? Is there a game that you’re addicted to for a stupid reason? Go!