Flight! has a pretty simple premise - see how far that you can throw a paper
airplane. There's a bit more to it than that, though, and that bit is enough to
make this casual and relaxing game easy to recommend.
A game begins with a paper airplane sitting on the ground. You pick it up by
tapping and dragging it, and then throw it with a swipe of your finger. At this
point the game takes a little liberty with the paper airplane concept and gives
you a limited amount of fuel. The fuel lets you be a more active participant in
what otherwise would be a hands-off sport by either tapping the screen to give
your plane a boost and keep it aloft longer or by tilting your iPhone/iPad to
steer the plane up or down. You'll want to dive or climb for a couple of
reasons, first of which is that the skies are filled with coins that you'll want
to collect because they'll pay for your plane upgrades. Catch an origami swan in
flight and you can build-up a coin multiplier. There also stars and dice riding
sparkling and rainbow currents through the sky, with the stars giving you a bit
of an altitude boost to help keep you aloft longer and the dice setting off a
pull on a slot machine that will award you with a number of possible prizes
including precious fuel.
The other reason you'll want to take to the controls is that you'll encounter
'jet streams' which are basically short blasts of a head wind that will bleed
off much of your precious momentum. You'll receive a warning when you're
approaching a jet stream and you'll want to try to get over it or below it. Jet
streams are more frequent the higher that you climb which means that getting a
distance record involves more than simply trying to climb as high as possible before you
begin your inevitable descent.
At some point you'll run out of fuel and boosts and begin your glide to the
ground. While it may seem like it would be boring to stop playing and simply
watch your plane at this point, the truth is that you'll be eyeing the distance
and altitude gauges the whole way down as you hope that your efforts have
resulted in a new distance record - and a higher ranking on the leaderboards.
As you accumulate a bankroll from the coins that you collect you'll be able
to begin spending some of that money on upgrades. Some of these are one-time use
expendables, such as one that will give you a jet blast of propulsion or another
that will bounce your plane back into the air after it hits the ground. Others
are permanent upgrades to your plane that make it lighter, carry more fuel, and
the like. You can even swap out your plane itself for a better model, with the
top plane looking more like a stealth fighter than anything that you could
probably fold for yourself out of paper. The game also has a rudimentary plane
customizer that will let you change its color or make it look like it was folded
out of a flag.
The game has a simple story behind it told in motion comic style cutscenes
shown between levels ' in the story mode levels require you to cover a minimum
cumulative distance, so it will take you a number of throws to get to the next
level and chapter in the story. The story is a simple cute and feel-good one
that fits the game's nature perfectly. Once you complete the story you will
unlock the free mode, which is all about maximizing the distance that you can
fly in a single throw.
Flight! is a great little portable game. The rules are simple but they give
rise to a surprising diversity of strategies for maximizing the distances of
your throws. Each throw plays out in under thirty seconds, making the game very
easy to play on the go. The hand-drawn look to the graphics, simple gameplay,
and relaxing music and overall vibe also make it a great game to play when
you're winding down before bed.