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Friday Freebie

Friday Freebie


Leena Van Deventer talks FLIGHT.

FLIGHT IS a charming development from Armor Games that I fell across while cruising Kongregate. Your aim is to “Throw your paper plane, collect points, upgrade, (and) save the world”. Pretty big task for such a flimsy piece of aeronautical architecture, she cried. You start off with a fairly basic paper aeroplane (nothing to do with Angus and Julia Stone, unfortunately), some environmental features (acting as boosts) and the aim to go the longest distance possible before crashing or stalling. Through a little grinding and points-farming, you begin to earn money with which to upgrade to bigger and better flying machines. Your upgrades not only apply to your variety of craft, which can transmorph from simple school-yard paper glider into something resembling a Harrier jet, but also to the environment.  Other upgrades affect fuel efficiency and capacity, engine boosts, inertia on the initial fling of the aircraft, and an adorable “mysterious and impractical upgrade probably not worth the money”. This however ends up being an essential part of getting the long distances required to score maximum moolah.

This nifty little free flash game even involves a small storyline to try to encourage you to finish the game and max out each upgrade on offer. You start off in London, where a small girl is desperate to send a letter to Santa asking for her Mother for Christmas. From here the plane hits a lovesick man square in his lovesick head in Paris as he laments his repudiated lover, before writing a love-note to send through the air currents to reach his other half. He draws a picture of them both near a campfire and speaks of their wish to one day go camping near their dream campfire. Swooning is apparent as you slowly walk along this meandering storyline. As the lovelorn gentleman propels his aircraft into the air with nought but the power of his love, I started to get a little whimsical about this game. Until the next cutscene.

Here we see a man in Egypt, receiving the love-note and in his mind imagining the two lovers thrust into that dream campfire of theirs and all eternal hellfire breaking out, making the world explode. Riiiight. Just as I was thinking “You kinda lost me, dude”, he bit into his finger, enabling him to write “THE END IS NEAR” with his own blood on the paper plane before sending it on. The story went from kind of losing me to losing me in such proportions I had to leave a trail of crumbs in order to be found again by loved ones and offspring.

The storyline may have lost me a little, but the playing is what kept me coming back. I didn’t care too much for cutscenes and didn’t feel like they took away from the game, more so that it just wasn’t perhaps as fleshed out as it could have been. And you know, less crazy. You start with an initial fling of the aircraft, thrusting it into the air. From here you slowly descend, much like the real thing, but with added upgrades enabling you to steer and use engine boosts, very much unlike the real thing. Collecting paper cranes and stars along the way help you to gain money for upgrading, and also small power boosts. The super boost stars have a tail behind them, enabling you to get enough warning about where they are to be able to attempt to collect them. Using your A and D buttons to control the angle of the nose of the aircraft, and space to use your engine boost, you can attempt to fly for as long as possible over the given environment, whether it be London, Paris, Egypt, Africa, or Japan.

The music is a joy, not being repetitive and annoying, specifically in the places where the game play might be. The art style avoids the predictable Paper Mario type parchment effects and sticks with a unique and clean interface. The cutscenes in particular have a warm hand-drawn quality to them that adds depth and interest. It would have been nice to have some added elements in the environment, such as a risk of bird strike or other such threats to bang into mid-flight, but considering its price point (or lack of it) and simplicity I think it still stands on its own quite well.

Flight is a fun way to spend some time, as you keep trying to beat your personal best you will be rewarded by a few strokes of good luck that keep you excited and motivated to keep playing, that makes it this week’s Friday Freebie!

You can find Flight at Kongregate.

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