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North Pointe Now

Go Plane: Great concept, poor execution

Photo credit: Google Play

By Colin Haroutunian, Intern

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Set above a blue sky, the controllable plane in mobile app “Go Plane” can actively dodge incoming rockets through the swipes and movement of a player’s finger. The app features a variety of unlocks and is packed with possible challenges, unfortunately caused in part due to multiple technical issues, occasionally causing unnecessary frustration.

Thrown into the menu screen with limited options after a seemingly long time waiting in the loading screen a player receives poor support in understanding the selections available. Though this is likely because of the game’s simplicity, the possible effects of buying new “unlocks” are unclear at first glance, lacking descriptions to explain their effects on the game. Only when an unlock is bought and applied is it evident that the change is visual, not affecting actions while playing.

In the game, there isn’t a clear location-based objective. Instead, the goal is to keep the plane in the air for as long as possible before being struck down by a missile. This method provides the game with an arcade-like style, retaining a player’s ability to replay it multiple times over while producing refreshing experiences each time.

The lack of a linear design is also evident in the controls, in which the plane’s flight path is dependent on the location of the player’s finger, something which can be learned right off the bat. Planes can then act in a variety of motions and directions, with minor restrictions, such as the size of the screen and the ability of the player. Additionally, the “fever” bonus activated when missiles are in close proximity of the plane over a short period of time destroys missiles in the plane’s trail, leaving the player further protection and coins to shop with. The low limitations on plane flight is a perfect way of implementing technique, as successful rotations or spins away from the flurries of rockets allow experienced players to better their score.

Despite the fantastic controls of the game, the activation of the “fever” bonus is often an obvious example of one of the app’s occasional lag spikes. This is when the game drops in frame rate to the point of skipping a moment in time. This can severely harm a player’s attempt, as missiles that were once a few paces behind and avoidable then become too close to maneuver away from. These spikes can also occur even without the bonus at seemingly normal points during the game.

The ability to replay the game appears to be unavailable without manually exiting it. With this error, alongside the lag spikes and extensive loading screen, the app can be unbearably frustrating.

While certainly holding a promising, entertaining style for a free application, “Go Plane” suffers from many downfalls in its execution, namely through painful technical issues and poor descriptions on player options.

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