Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: Free
Version: 1.1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Whenever there’s a music festival nearby, I’m more than likely going to attend. I’ve always wanted to create my own dream line-up of bands to see play together in one location, but it’s of course never going to be a reality. With Pocket Festival, gamers can live that dream by creating their own virtual Woodstock.

This freemium builder has gamers hiring bands, selling merchandise and even building tents to give their fans a place to sleep. An in-game tutorial helps users get familiar with how Pocket Festival works, but first users need to pick an awesome festival name to get started.

The overall goal in Pocket Festival is to build the best and biggest music festival ever. Keeping the festival score high means gamers will attract bigger crowds and better bands. Of course, every festival doesn’t start out huge. Gamers must build their festival on a small farm plot and work their way up by building concession stands, portable toilets, stages and tents. As new items are added to the festival, gamers collect coins and experience points along the way to level up and build more attractions.

While building new things means players will have to wait, there’s also the option to use amps to speed things up. Amps are the in-game currency that are also used to hire acts and make special purchases. Amps can be purchased starting at $1.99, or gamers can also earn amps by listening to their own music while playing.

It’s not required to use amps, but they are nice to help keep the gameplay flowing. Gamers who wish to wait can perform other tasks like picking up trash or interacting with friends at other music festivals. While waiting for buildings to complete and bands to finish playing, it’s essential to keep the festival rating high or the music fans will leave.

In addition to building, Pocket Festival features quests for gamers to complete. These range from adding more buildings and decorations to hiring bands and visiting other festivals. Completing these quests earns more experience points and coins.

Although Pocket Festival is an interesting concept, it just doesn’t really have that “wow” factor to keep gamers interested. The game feels like it has already been done before, and it just doesn’t stand out enough to leave a positive impression. Perhaps adding more to it like different scenery locations other than a farm, more customization options and better attractions would help increase the replay value.

Overall, Pocket Festival is not completely bad for a freemium title but it could be better. It starts off as being entertaining, but be prepared for the game to go from a rocking good time to just another builder that does little to impress.

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