High Flyer Death Defyer
Prepare for a bumpy landing.
At first glance, High Flyer Death Defyer appeared to be a cool mix of skydiving, jet packs and platform mechanics, complimented by cartoon style graphics. We immediately had visions of leaping off platforms and skillfully soaring through checkpoints while performing a variety of tricks. Then we played the game, and all that flew out the proverbial window.
What a mess this app is. Let's start with the tutorial, which may be the worst we've experienced. The developers at Game Mechanic Studios simply failed to properly explain each lesson, forcing users to learn as they go and/or screw up multiple times before succeeding. In fact, we discovered many things by accident.
To make matters worse, both the d-pad and accelerometer controls don't work. The former will send the main character, Arreon (what a name that is) too far away from the intended targets (rings, ala Superman 64) and off course entirely, making each mission a laborious trial and error process.
Tilt, meanwhile, drove us nuts. We tried playing the game sitting down and couldn't come to grips with the controls, which seem to be all over the place and largely imprecise. As a result, we went back to the d-pad, clearly the lesser of two evils.
Then we have the dive and hover buttons. For some reason, Arreon will automatically stop diving and hover, a flaw that ruins time-based challenges; good luck reaching the goal within 20 seconds. It's nearly impossible, even if you tweak the controls in the options menu.
In addition, there's no screen orientation to speak of. You must play with your hand covering the iPhone/iPad speakers.
On the positive side, the visuals look good, and the 100 plus pages of cartoon storyboards do a solid job telling the story, but neither of these justify downloading the game.
The verdict? High Flyer Death Defyer is one of the worst titles we've played and needs a huge update to correct its many flaws. Until that happens, avoid this one.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Cartoon graphics, storyboards.
What's Not: No screen orientation, abysmal controls, unclear objectives, shockingly bad tutorial.