There aren’t many games developed around skydiving. Outside of Pilot Wings, Jumping Flash and the odd PSX title Skydiving Extreme, few games make jumping, falling, and landing the complete experience. However, High Flyer Death Defyer introduces gamers to the exhilaration of skydiving using a challenging pick-up-and-play method in a slick visual package. Coming out this summer to iOS and Android devices, High Flier Death Defyer could very well be worth a couple of bucks, if only for the visuals and gameplay
Like with most mobile games, actual gameplay is uninvolved. Players control their skydiver by tilting the device and running around small stages to begin a jump. It’s not as easy as with a joystick, but to simply walk around, tilt works fine. Once a player is situated in a good spot, charging forward off a platform will send the game into skydiving mode. Like the walking controls, the skydiver is controlled with tilt. Guiding your dude through rings while avoiding giant fans and other death traps straddles the line between casual and hardcore gaming.
What makes the game much more interesting are the island platforms that players can land on. By activating their jet pack, players can slow their descent and carefully drop down onto these floating islands. Oftentimes these have collectibles on them, and the game rewards players for a safe landing. Some of the platforms are particularly small and rotate when landed on. Like in Super Mario Galaxy, players have to control their character to make sure he doesn’t fall off or risk losing the prize.
There are three different worlds, with ten levels to each. The basic storyline is about a treasure hunter trying to collect, well, treasure, and he appears to be the typical anti-hero (think Han Solo). For iPhone gamers used to Angry Birds, High Flyer has more than enough plot. When high scores and Game Center-support are involved, there should be plenty to keep players coming back once the story is completed. Twitter and Facebook support are also being considered for the game when it launches this summer.
The best part of High Flyer is the beautiful visuals. Heavily stylized with a comic book feel, this is one of the best-looking games I’ve seen on the iOS platform or Android. Bold lines and contrasting blues and reds make these superb graphics to behold.
Overall, High Flyer Death Defyer has the potential to appeal to both casual and hardcore audiences, and with fairly simple controls, Game Mechanic Studios has done a great job of building a game that fits the mobile scene well. Keep an eye on High Flyer when it drops later this summer.