Only the slyest of players will make it to the end of this game.
What happens when a hungry fox ends up with a propeller strapped to his back? Quite simply, a video game is born. In Sly Fox, you control a flying fox as he attempts to get himself a delicious meal across a multitude of stages (60 to be exact).
The game brings some fresh mechanics that combine controlling your fox as he flies around and solving puzzles to figure out how to get all the hens into the sky (and presumably into his belly).
Smashing the hiding places is where the puzzle elements come into play. The hens may be hiding in a small structure, and you are given a bowling ball or boulder to smash their hiding place and pull them up. Some levels will require you to think hard, as the solution may not always be the most obvious one.
Another layer of challenge comes from the timed element of the game. Most of the levels only give you a limited amount of time to figure out a way to bust the hens out and fly away with them. That means not only do you have to use your brain to come up with a solution, you have to do it with haste. These combine for a challenging game that feels fresh and exciting.
Sadly, another level of challenge comes from the poor controls. Of course, this is a bad kind of challenge. You can choose from tilt and touch based controls. Of the two, the tilt is much better. The touch controls are just terribly inaccurate. The joystick feels like it has a massive dead spot and it makes it hard to move your fox in the finite way the game demands.
The tilt controls are not amazing either. I would call them competent, at best. You can reset the center point from the pause menu at any time, which is a nice option. However, there is no adjustment for the sensitivity, which will prove an issue for many players.
Both control methods have a dive button on the right side of the screen. This button is how you grab hens and objects around the level. To keep holding an object you simply hold the button. To throw an object, you swipe the finger holding the button. This mechanic worked well, and it one of the brighter spots in the game as far as the controls are concerned.
Sly Fox looks and sounds quite good. It has a good soundtrack that is catchy and matches well with the lighthearted tone of the game.
Overall, Sly Fox is a novel idea, and I give them props for that, but the poor controls hurt the game a great deal. Still, for gamers looking for something a little different, this might be a great choice.
Sly Fox is available for $.99 as a universal app. Get it on the App Store.