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Glyder

Developer: 

Glu

Release Date: 

July 17, 2009

Version: 

1.2

Price: 

$1.99

Editor Rating 

img_0011If you enjoy free-flying in games then Glyder by Glu is a good choice. Literally. The gameplay entails flying completely free based, with none of the usual additional burdens of dying or that ominous, yet strangely obsolete “game over.” You play as Eryn, a prototypically attractive female game character with slightly elvish features, who dons a Leonardo Da Vinci era paraglider that helps her soar gracefully in a strange, bright world she came upon through some mysterious dimensional rift. With no marauding enemies or traps to speak of, the game is one of simple exploration: collect crystals in various colors to open gateways and treasures in the hopes it may lead you back to your home world.

As with most flying games, the controls can take some adjusting to – all that up and down and side to side motion; though the iPhone proves to be a cleverly condensed game controller that reacts sensitively and accurately to your hands every flick or slow rotation. After the initial vibrating jolts of having slammed into a mountain face or barreling too tightly down a narrow corridor, I had the satisfaction of knowing Eryn would quickly pop up on one of her convenient platforms, ready for flight again. The one drawback is you can’t calibrate the sensitivity like you could on other controllers, but alas, this is an all-in-one iPhone, after all.

A neat feature is that much like your average RPG style game, there is a treasure chest tab that gives you access to your character’s accomplishments, making it easy to keep track of how many crystals you’ve collected and what achievements you’ve garnered, such as “Long Flight,” “Crazy Fast,” and my personal favorite “Surface Skimmer” where you teeter precariously on the brink of diving into the ocean. A map tab also allows you to jump from location to location rather than – yawn – taking the long flight in game and dozing off after seeing the pixels unite in some recognizable mountain graphic. The best part about taking the long way is you can keep diving or jetting into thermal drafts to accelerate your speed and hear that satisfying “whoosh” sound.

img_0003With six different worlds in the usual fantasy type names of “Dark Pinnacle” and “Lost Kingdom,” the one glaring concern is one of tedium. True, it’s yet another fantasy game, and yes, flying from island to island and collecting crystal after crystal does get monotonous, bringing a sense of déjà vu, I’m sure, to many a Diablo or Final Fantasy player, but for an iPhone game, it’s fairly dynamic, not to mention gorgeous to uphold. At a cheap $0.99 for a game that doesn’t even require saving before quitting, it’s a great way to pass some time on the subway or bus, pretending you’re flying instead of riding in stop and go traffic.


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