Glyder is a wonderfully satisfying and relaxing adventure-type game from Glu.
The game puts you in the shoes- er, wings, of Eryn, who has been “sucked into a dimensional rift and is left in a world that is not her own.” That’s about all the plot you get, and really, all the plot you need in the game. As Eryn, you use your mechanical wings to glide around the massive world of Gylder, all the while collecting gems to help you eventually escape.
The controls are all tilt based, and work well for the most part. It can sometimes be
frustrating when you’re required to fly through tight spaces (your wings get clipped and you crash), but for the most part the environment allows you maneuver well. The most frustrating part of crashing is that no matter where you hit the ground, you always respawn on the same single platform for each island. This can be quite frustrating, as you may spawn far away from the challenge you were trying to complete. Had the game offered the ability to spawn at the nearest platform, or last one you lept from, it would have really helped in making the game more casual, with less consequence for crashing.
Still though, this game is really fun to play, and looks and sounds amazing. The most impressive aspect part of the game for me was the ability to fly to and from the different islands at will, with absolutely no load times at all. The incredible draw distance of the 3D engine allows you to see islands from a far distance off, and warm jets of air will give you the
altitude you need to fly over the vast ocean. You can bring up the menu at any time to jump to islands you’ve discovered via a map, or to review your achievements.
Visually, Glyder is quite stunning, especially at higher altitudes. The textures of the environments may not be that great, but you won’t be spending a whole lot of time stopping to smell the roses. The ambient music in Glyer is equally as relaxing as the gameplay itself. I kind of wish there was more than one song, but it never became annoying. The sound of wings catch air is excellent, and the whole experience is quite immersive.
So what do you actually do besides fly around? Well, aside from a massive amount of standard achievements (reaching certain altitudes/speeds), there are also achievements for completing “trips” between different colored platforms. You’ll start at platform ‘A’, and receive a description for how to get to the next one. Once you reach platform ‘B’, you are rewarded with a trip achievement. The times for these trips are stored if you want to beat them later on.
In about an hour’s worth of gameplay, I was able to clear 2 of the 6 islands, and complete just a handful of trips. There is plenty of gameplay to be had with Glyder. I would imagine it would take several hours to complete all of the challenges, especially in the more difficult areas.
Presentation & Graphics
Glu has created an imaginitive and beautiful world in Glyder. Being able to see remote islands in the distance, and then just fly to them with no load times is quite a feat for an iPhone game, and really adds to the experience. The environmental textures are fairly low res, but don’t distract much from the gameplay at all. Very rich and colorful graphics.
Great ambient music and flyings sounds help bring you into the experience. I would have liked to hear more than one track though, even if the current one works well.
Very easy to control… most of the time. Some of challenges seem a bit rediculous considering you are controlling Eryn by tilting, which doesn’t lend to incredible accuracy. Still, with enough practice, and planning your approach, they can be conqured. Over all game has a very casual feel, but needs the ability to spawn at near platforms to keep from repeating long flights over and over again.
There is certainly plenty of content to keep you coming back for more. 35 achievements, 20 trips, and 200 gems to collect is no small set of numbers. Would have been cool to see an online leader board for trip times, or maybe even the ability to race a ghost… but then again, this game is “casual”.
Glyder is a wonderful game. It’s relaxing for the most part, and will have you playing it for much longer than you would expect. It’s not completely without flaws, as there a few aspects that could get frustrating, but to be honest, you will quickly overlook these. It pushes the iPhone hardware with it’s great draw distance, and non-linear world – all with no load times and no lag. This is easily a $5 game, but it sells for only $.99. Pick this one up!