Aside from owning our own Tyrannosaurus Rex, flying without the aid of an airplane is the one childhood dream we all carry with us through adulthood. Who hasn’t had a recurring fantasy about opening a pair of sail-sized wings and diving off a cliff, falling for a heart-stopping few seconds before being thrown upwards by a thermal draft?
The bad news is, reality sucks and if you jump out of a tree wearing an oversized pair of cloth bat wings, you’re going to die or hurt yourself. The good news is, games like Glyder 2 by Glu let us taste the magic of free flight without the danger of a smashed-in skull.
Glyder 2 plays a good deal like the first Glyder game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, though given Glyder’s overwhelmingly positive reception for its relaxing atmosphere and realistic flight mechanics, there are certainly worse criticisms to unload on a sequel. The protagonist of the Glyder games, a sky-crazy inventor named Eryn, keeps poking at strange machines with screwdrivers and ending up in other dimensions. But we profit from Eryn’s inability to leave alien technology well enough alone.
Where’s me pot o’ gold?
Using a flying contraption strapped to her back, Eryn swoops and glides through seven worlds. The environments are relatively peaceful, but that doesn’t mean Eryn’s goals are easy: She must collect gems that will (hopefully) grant her the means to get back home.
The controls are intuitive: Just tilt the iPhone to climb, dive, and bank left or right. Flying through tight squeezes, like caves, can be difficult and takes some practice.
Like its predecessor, Glyder 2 does not rush you or threaten you with ominous time limits. Collecting gems and participating in the dozens of minigames that challenge your flight capabilities seems almost like an afterthought to simply flying and enjoying the scenery, which feels even freer and more open than in the first game. Glyder 2 purposefully gets you to slow down and explore its multitude of islands and caves. You’ll even unlock achievements by flying irresponsibly, which, of course, is exactly what you’d do if you had a real pair of wings (‘Let’s play chicken with the ocean!’).
Wind turbines make even the most inefficient crystal castle green.
Glyder 2′s graphics lack texture, but the framerate is smooth, even on the 3G. The floaty music is as relaxing as an aromatherapy session, but it might put you to sleep after a while. Thankfully, there’s an option to include your own iPod playlist as your in-flight soundtrack.
Glyder 2 is a Must Have for any flight game enthusiasts who just want to take it easy without being pinned down by a red-flashing control panel and a seating area full of screaming passengers. Thorough explorers will even be able to gain stylish new wings and outfits. Dog fighters who would rather rattle off machine guns might find Eryn’s slow journey home is not their style, however.