It’s safe to say that just about every kid growing up has had dreams of flying. A stylish hang glider is usually the next best thing. Glu lets you indulge in your soaring dreams with Glyder, setting you loose in a world built for flying with an unlimited number of lives and no enemies to hinder you. It’s almost like an R. Kelly song… “I dream about it every night and day…” ah, never mind.
Glyder is a simple game, with a simple backstory. Eryn somehow got lost and ended up in a different dimension with her handy dandy glyder — we don’t think Glu likes the letter ‘i’ — and now you must guide her home. Luckily, this dimension is different than most fantasy worlds in that it’s not brimming with undesirable monster types. It’s quiet and beautiful, full of waterfalls and soaring heights, with endless ocean and sky — a good reason to spend your time flying.
Goals are defined right off the bat: Collect crystals, land on platforms, use thermal vents to climb and fly using the accelerometer. It’s no secret that accelerometer-driven games often raise red flags, so much so that many avoid them entirely. But whatever they did over at Glu, they did it right. Eryn and her glyder respond seamlessly to every movement, and the handling is so easy and smooth that it starts to feel like you are, in fact, flying.
Eryn begins in Rift Valley, which is surrounded by five other locations. The goal is to collect the three types of crystals scattered throughout the world, using only the thermal vents and boost tokens to aid you. Achievements provide your other goals — think Xbox 360. If you have the patience for them, you may find yourself doing some crazy things to add to your awards, like flying for 12 minutes straight without landing or making it from one platform to another in a limited time. The range of achievements definitely adds some appreciated variety to the title.
Glyder is a beautiful game, and its well-executed use of the accelerometer is unsurpassed. Despite a thin plot, the game’s graphics and soothing flight (own music an option) make for a fantastic ride.