We’ve reviewed a number of flying games on the iPhone, and they tend to follow a well-established pattern, whether you’re flying a Doodle, a Kiwi, or in this case, a Viking. After launching yourself off a cliff or getting shot out of a cannon, you have to stay aloft long enough to earn more money to buy some upgrades and try again. Vikings Can Fly doesn’t offer much innovation, but it is charming.
The introductory cutscene tells a goofy, heartwarming story about a lonely, husky Viking who falls in love with a mythical Valkyrie (a sort of Nordic angel). After she flies away to Asgard, the city of the gods, you vow to follow her by whatever means necessary.
Da Vinci of the North.
You start by taking a running jump off a cliff, and plummeting immediately. The king takes notice of your brave efforts, and chooses to reward you for successful flights. From then on, performing tricks, staying aloft, and reaching certain milestones will give you more money to spend on your flying experiments.
Before long, you’ll be upgrading to rudimentary propellers, leather wings, and eventually, a full-blown dragon. Just like in How To Train Your Dragon, riding a giant beast with actual wings is clearly the best way to get to Asgard, but you’ll have to take about a hundred less-successful flights first.
Next time, just start with the dragon.
To stay aloft, you have to find the “sweet spot” where you’ll glide ahead, while diving enough to maintain your speed and avoid stalling out. Your angle is determined by tilting the iDevice either up and down or left and right, and you can also perform tricks like loops for extra cash.
The graphics, sound, and humor are the best parts of Vikings Can Fly. They’re also the only original parts– every bit of the gameplay has been done before in games like Fly, Kiwi, Fly. Besides the clever storyline and attractive backgrounds inspired by Norse mythology, this is essentially the same game we’ve already played.
If this is your first time with a flying game, Vikings Can Fly is a great place to start. It’s attractive, easy to understand, and has a clear progression from start to finish. It just doesn’t attempt to do anything new with the gameplay, so we’re still waiting for this genre to truly take off.