Space, the Final Frontier
Tired of our planet, ready to visit tiny new planets in the vast reaches of space. Idle Pocket Planet by Hyperbeard lets players explore space as they colonize tiny planets. With a setting like space, this new simulation game can have much going for it. Players will see different planets, build cute antennas and satellites that help collect resources and send their rocket ships to collect rare collectibles. However, Idle Pocket Planet is as simple as it comes to mobile simulation games and could use more substance.
The Eagle has Landed
The game has no story to tell. The game starts with your ship landing on a planet. Players will first be tasked with tapping the little blob button on the screen. Once the blob is summoned on the planet, players will tap on it to automatically summon cute antennas that help collect asteroids. Tapping is the game’s central mechanic, as it also increases antenna production and how fast asteroids come in if you tap on the antennas. This will get repetitive fast; eventually, you will just let everything happen automatically.
Once the antennas are built, players can fuse them to make better asteroid collectors like more giant antennas, towers or satellites. Asteroids act as the game’s primary resource and are used for upgrades and to build antennas, satellites and towers without the wait. Upgrades include a collector, which collects asteroids when you are not playing. Spawn time decreases the time of spawning blobs for antennas. And good luck, which increases the chances of spawning better antennas or satellites. The other rare resource in the game is stars, which can be used to do the same thing but is less common than asteroids.
Look to the Stars
Stars can only be gathered when sending a rocket ship to collect collectibles and resources. However, stars are rare, and the game starts to feel like a slog when they eventually become the resources for upgrades. Rocket ships also have a cooldown timer, so there is never an abundance of stars. Players can speed up getting stars with in-game purchases and watching the occasional ad.
Adding more rocket ships to explore space and collect helps, but more is needed to justify the game’s flawed progression system. Idle Pocket Planet does this on purpose so players can turn it off and come back later. Once you return, you will have an abundance of asteroids, and your rockets will be ready to explore. If I must turn off a game to play it, is it a game at all?
Like a Falling Star
Idle Pocket Planet has one fun aspect. The sci-fi references when it comes to the collectibles you find. Some of my favorites were Dragon Ball Z, Futurama and Metroid references. However, that is all they are since collectibles are only used to decorate your ship. Idle Pocket Planet also has an asteroid-catching mini-game to collect asteroids, but it feels like a waste of time since it only adds so much to the collecting.
Idle Pocket Planet sometimes feels less like a game and more like a chore when playing and tapping. The game shines when the player stops playing, and the game is idle, hence the name. If you have little time to play anything, you will probably enjoy this one. But you will want to jump ship from this space simulator if you are a hardcore gamer.
Is It Hardcore?
Not at all
Idle Pocket Planet is better played when idle, which feels like a chore rather than a game.