HighFlyer DeathDefyer (i4) Review
- Big, detailed open levels; plenty of new routes to explore.
- Luscious, 3D visuals; like a Saturday Morning cartoon.
- Inconsistent controls; heavily punishes the slightest of mistakes.
- Fixed camera makes it hard to know where you're going.
- Performance problems; stutters even on an iPhone 4.
HighFlyer DeathDefyer dreams big and provides a toolbox for high-speed free-falling fun, but sadly its inconsistencies keep it from reaching for the stars.
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Barring those who have a dreaded fear of heights I'm sure a lot of people dream of being able to fly. The idea of being able to take off and own the sky can be so overwhelming that people jump off high points just to experience the sensation of freedom it brings, no matter how brief. HighFlyer DeathDefyer by Game Mechanic Studios is all about an explorer living in a world thrown high in to the sky; where free-falling means you can make a living claiming remnants of Earth's past.
After a rather lengthy series of orientation levels designed to give you some sort of familiarity with the gameplay and feel of the controls you're thrown in to a story following Arreon, a treasure-hunting 'Death Defyer'. After uncovering a hidden and potentially dangerous secret he attempts to rescue an imprisoned race of aliens stuck on Earth.
All of this is an aside for the main attraction of jumping off large islands or structures and soaring through the sky collecting treasure and finding new paths to hidden areas. The concept alone promises oodles of replayability as each island you encounter features multiple jump-points leading to new locations, though this isn't always easy as you avoid traps, dragons and natural rock formations blocking your path.
This would be a lot easier if the controls didn't feel so unforgiving, with a single virtual stick determining forward, backward, side-to-side and rotational directions while combinations with the 'booster' and 'dodge' buttons add even more responses. Sadly the controls assume constant contact, with releases of the virtual stick or changes in direction immediately affecting your acceleration and at the speeds you're traveling at a split second can be the difference between landing safely and becoming a protein-pancake.
Given the speeds and distances involved in free-falling, the game goes out of its way to provide handy indicators and references to keep everything in perspective. Unfortunately much like sky-diving, things get a whole lot trickier closer to your objective as you lose these frames of reference and a change in camera (through zooming in/out or around the player) would have helped immensely.
If you're willing to master the surprisingly realistic feel of HighFlyer DeathDefyer, you'll be rewarded with thrilling and challenging free-flying experience that rewards the spirit of adventure with treasure and a few alien powers as well. Sadly there's too much room for frustration in mastering the game's quirks and most are likely to put this game down before reaching the meat of the story.
Appletell 4 Stars
“I personally can’t even think of another game to compare this to, and that fact had me intrigued throughout the quick comic book style introduction."
148Apps 4.5 Stars
“The best feature of the game is the virtual skydiving as well as the attention to level design. I took High Flyer Death Defyer’s for a spin and was surprised at the level of entertainment it provided. Indie developers such as Game Mechanic Studios are a true source of innovation.”
TUAW 4 Stars
I really like its scope, it is an iOS game that's really trying to do something different, something really fun, and look really good doing it”.
“The music’s quite good: it wouldn’t be out of place in an intense scene in an action movie, and combines nicely with sound effects such as air whooshing by”.
iBirdy 4 Stars
“The game takes place in the post-apocalyptic world where the whole human population lives in the cities that are high in the sky, and there is a group of skydiving explorers that search for new cities and treasures.”
“I love the concept of this game."
Rating: Bronze Award
“The constant free fall mechanic is entertaining, with your hero spinning downward and the cloudy skies blurring past you. As it is, High Flyer Death Defyer looks good, plays well, and brings originality to the arcade genre.
High Flyer Death Defyer
High Flyer Death Defyer is an exciting action packed adventure through the skies of Machine City. Get ready for the free flight of your life. Strap on your jetpack and jump! Follow the story of Arreon as he sets out to discover new places and goes on a search for rare treasure. His journey will take him on a quest that is more than he could have ever imagined. As Arreon you will collect treasure, discover floating islands, and speed dive through the air to answer one of many questions. Are you the fastest Death Defyer? How much treasure have you collected? What islands have you discovered? Did you get the Golden Jetpack? Prepare yourself for mind blowing deathtraps and giant beasts in a world that has been reborn in the sky. Stay off the radar and guide Arreon through 27 missions in a fully 3D world. High Flyer Death Defyer is an original game experience that has been optimized for the iPhone 4. There's only one way to fly in the future, fly high and death defy.
*ONLY FOR THE iPHONE 4 ARCHITECTURE OR ABOVE
•Non Linear Level Design
•Play using either the joystick or the accelerometer with Analog Controls
•Encounter Giant Beasts and Lethal Deathtraps
•Customizable options to suit every players gaming style
•Comic Book Story told in 100+ Pages
•2 Playable Characters
•Hours of replayability
•Accessible to players of all skill levels – Casual to Core
•High Flyer Store
•41 Cool Achievements!
The future starts now! Grab a jetpack and let's go!!
Game Mechanic Studios is extremely excited to share our first game with everyone on the App Store. It was a very ambitious undertaking so we hope you enjoy it! There is a lot more to come so stay tuned!!