It has been a while since I played a game so addictive that I quickly burned many hours playing it. You may have read that I have a soft spot for puzzles, but occasionally, I do enjoy playing endless runners like Jetpack Joyride. And frankly speaking, it's games like these that can really hook you into playing for many, many hours.
Flight! is a game for the iPhone and the iPad that lets you throw a paper plane and steer it to fly into the skies for as long and as far as you can. The storyline starts with a little girl named Sandy who wanted to see her mommy on Christmas Eve so badly that she decided to write a letter to Santa Claus. After writing her letter, she folded it into a paper plane which she then threw, hoping that it would reach the North Pole.
As someone who wants to help Sandy, you pick up the paper plane and help throw it across the London skies. During your flight, you can collect stars and other special items. Each time you collect a star, it would add $5 into your account, allowing you to purchase upgrades and utilities that would make your paper plane better and your next flight even farther.
In order to make the journey more interesting, the game has many power-ups that comes in various forms; origami cranes, for example, multiplies your score for a limited time, while shooting stars boosts your speed. Shooting dice allows you to spin the slot machine which churns out various types of bonuses if you manage to hit a three-of-a-kind.
The game will record all of your achievements, including how far you have gone accumulatively. Once you've reached a total of 1,000 meters, the game will take you from London to Paris, where the story continues with a new background. Throughout the game, Flight! will take you to three other countries, i.e. Kenya, India and Japan, before ending the story with a reunion between Sandy and her mom.
Upon completing the flight in the final city, i.e. Japan, you will unlock an endless mode, where you can play for as long as you like in a stadium-like environment.
What makes Flight! special
Flight! was originally created by a Thai game designer nicknamed Krin as a flash game published by Armor Games. Even when the iOS version has been made available on the App Store, you can still play the Flash version on Armor Games' website for free.
Flight! has a simple gameplay. First, you need to flick the paper plane to have it take off. Then, you can tilt your iPhone or iPad to steer it a little bit. Finally, you can tap anywhere on the screen to give it a temporary boost.
The combination of simple gameplay and the ability to upgrade your paper plane makes Flight! very addictive. Even though you're not playing to unlock all its achievements, I'm sure you will play Flight! again and again to collect enough money to purchase the upgrades that you want to try in action. The background music and sound effects also help in making the game an enjoyable experience, even if you've played more than 100 times over the past five hours.
What I love about Flight!
If you have been following the game reviews I posted on this blog, you may already be familiar with my preference for elegant games. I think a simple gameplay is enough to make a game great, and Flight! is a good example of this. Using a simple tilt-and-tap gameplay, the app challenges you to balance the plane's fuel, various power-ups, and the wind to have the best flight.
I like how the game offers plenty aspects of your plane that you can upgrade, e.g. the initial speed, the boost acceleration, the aerodynamics, the paper weight, the paper model, and even the type of fuel. You can also purchase other game tweaks, such as increasing the chances for the gold stars to show up and the bounces that cranes or windmills can give when you hit them.
Having played more than 100 times, I would suggest new players to try tuning your plane to go as far as you can, which will allow you to level up and move to the next city faster. Speed is more important than altitude, and you can monitor this on the top of your screen. Try not to hit lower than 6 m/s, but go as fast as 30 m/s and more.
If you haven't hit the outer space, i.e. going higher than 50 m in altitude exiting the atmosphere, you might want to give it a try to see what the special bonuses are. In my opinion, though, it's more worth the effort going as far as you can rather than as high as you can. Another tip from me is to avoid going higher than 25 m in altitude for too long because there are obstacles in the form of rains and jet streams. These obstacles would reduce your speed significantly, even as far as halting your journey.
Flight! is a fun game that you can play casually, but beware as it can also be addictive. The cartoons that are used to tell the stories throughout the game make it a beautiful experience to play with. You might not approve of your juniors spending too much time playing endless runners, but Flight! is a great game that can inspire you and your juniors to actually make real-life paper planes and throw it in the air for fun. It's certainly one of the best casual games that appeal to all ages, so go get it now.