Another week of App Store releases means another new wave of endless games. But the new Chillingo title, Tiny Plane (universal) isn’t the average endless runner; rather, it’s an endless flyer, complete with its own take on the popular casual gaming style. Besides, who wouldn’t like a game with puppies flying planes?
There isn’t much of a story behind Tiny Plane - it just appears that the friendly neighborhood dog got bored and decided to try his hand at being a pilot. Utilizing a simple two-finger control system, players press and hold the left side to point the nose of the plane up, and the right side to bring it back down. It works well, and with the spacious playing/flying area to navigate in, even the most casual of gamers will be able to pick up and go.
While flying, players can collect coins to buy new planes to fly with: some will attract more coins, some are lighter in the air, etc. Players change planes during the game after running into a specific power-up, and when it happens, can alter a person’s playing strategy in an instant. It’s an original little addition to the genre, and makes every run feel like its own journey.
Tiny Plane‘s visual design is a study in subtle colors and smooth animations, water-color like landscapes and colorful planes. It would be nice to see some visual effects on the screen for certain events and power-ups, but there’s something relaxing about Tiny Plane‘s laid back presentation I enjoy.
The one thing Tiny Plane needs is more original content. Next to the plane-changing power-ups, the only real twist on the endless genre is the ability to land and refuel the plane, which does lead to longer runs. It would be nice to have some objectives to complete, or upgrades to purchase outside of the different planes.
However, it does have 2-4 player online play through Game Center, something we don’t see a lot on iOS, but implemented in a very fun way here where players race a fixed length to see who is the fastest of the bunch.
All in all, Tiny Plane isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off with visual prowess or an extremely unique spin on the genre, but its solid gameplay and multiplayer option certainly earns a worthy spot on any casual gamer’s iOS device.