'FlyBoy' Review – A Quick Trip but Worth a Dive

Developer: Jelly Pants

It’s not very often that I manage to play a game that not only offers an enjoyable and compelling gameplay experience, but also manages to make me laugh at the same time. FlyBoy a whimsical skydiving simulator, manages to do just that.

Gameplay in FlyBoy is relatively simple: you choose from one of six different stages (and three different difficulties), stabilize your iOS device, and then use the accelerometer to steer your skydiver past a variety of barriers while racing against the clock towards the finish line. Tap on your screen to dive and shave off a few seconds at the cost of control. Should you go splat by hitting something, you are taken back to the last checkpoint, which definitely loses  you valuable seconds.  In addition to avoiding obstacles, a variety of power-ups are littered throughout the path which can do everything from give you a burst of speed to making you temporarily invincible, allowing you to dive right through any barriers. At the end of every level, you are rated based on your completion time.

Levels in FlyBoy range from volcanoes to Mayan temples to the inside of a fish. While each  level is well done and definitely offers some variety and increased difficulty, in the end the core gameplay changes very little. Thankfully, harder difficulties are balanced well and actually require a good deal of concentration in order to beat them in record time. Still, I really wish FlyBoy offered more levels, as the limited selection means you’re going to run out of content very quickly. Also, the lack of Game Center support is surprising, as I imagine folks would love to compete with their friends in speed runs.

One of the things that I think FlyBoy nails is its sense of humor. If you manage to only nick the side of a wall while diving, odds are you’ll end up decapitating a limb (instead of dying instantly). You can continue to play, but you lose a bit of control as your unfortunate diver starts bleeding out. You can actually continue playing with multiple decapitated limbs, which is both hilarious and horrifying at the same time. In fact, you can even earn an achievement for having your skydiver survive as nothing but a torso flying towards the finish line.

Maybe it’s simply my juvenile tendencies, but I just thought this decapitation feature added a whole lot of personality to the game as a whole. However, it’s not all just fun and gore, as the more limbs you lose, the easier it is to dodge the myriad of barriers coming at you. If you collect one of the many health packs littered along the path, you can regenerate any limbs lost. If bloodied limbs are too much for you (or your child), an option exists to turn off some of the gory content.

Despite the relatively light amount of content, I still think FlyBoy does a pretty good job creating a well-rounded ‘quickie’ game. There’s enough strategy within each of the levels in order to keep you coming back, as well as all the usual competitive features to make sure that you aren’t simply playing against yourself. Sure, FlyBoy isn’t going to win any rewards for deep gameplay, but if you’re looking for an amusing game to kill some time, FlyBoy is worth checking out.



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