Sly Fox Review

By , on July 23, 2012

Flying Fox
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Busting animals out of fortresses in a brand new way.
  • Clever themes for each area; adds to the gameplay in significant ways (not just new puzzle elements).
  • Slick presentation; smooth 'clever' camera zooming and catchy tunes.


  • No sensitivity options for tilt controls; virtual stick controls feel slippery and haphazard in their responsiveness.


Sly Fox attempts to break out of the stiff mold that has shaped similar 'physics' puzzlers on the App Store, but a combination of conflicts between the controls and the level designs make it inconsistent in delivering an entertaining challenge.

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Before we jump in to the review I'll let you in on a trade-secret of the reviewers at AppSpy. If a game we play generally defies conventional genres, we know we're going to have a good time reviewing the game. These unique ideas are generally applauded, whether or not they manage to succeed, and so, while Sly Fox by Black Fox Studios has some serious teething problems, it was worth the play just to see something different.

Catching chickens to nom on isn't an easy thing for a fox, especially when they're barricaded behind rock-hard walls and fortresses made of glass and wood. Sound familiar? It should as the game borrows from the Crush The Castle archetype, complete with explosive barrels and different kinds of ammunition. However, instead of a stationary turret you control a free-moving fox complete with a spinning prop to fly around the stage.

Whether you use the tilt or touch-based controls, the black fox manages to feel slippery and haphazard in his movement. This may be intentional, but given the precise flying required of some of the levels (especially when attempting three-star clears) it adds more frustration than 'quirkiness', if indeed that was its purpose.

Your goal is a simple one - capture all the chickens by firstly freeing them from whatever structure they're contained in, and then by grabbing and flying them up to a set height on the level. This second part adds a new layer of complexity as the levels themselves can feel like a Labyrinth, complete with enemies that can cause you to drop your cargo and winding passages to slow you down.

Speed is not only of the essence if you're after a high-score, but some of the levels use time as a hard limit for success, with chickens being left precariously over water they can drown in if you're not speedy and precise with your movement. Other levels use an element of stealth, with fast movement or loud actions setting off an alarm if you're not careful enough.

Sly Fox's problems lie mostly in the execution of its controls. Aside from the slippery feel, grabbing items has an awkward delay attached to it, and flicking to 'throw' objects feels imprecise, especially as it seems to lock on to cardinal directions.

Sly Fox comes so close to being a refreshing change of pace from the usual mix of structure-busting semi-puzzlers on the App Store, and with some updates it may manage to be consistently entertaining, but for now it remains an amusing, but flawed title.


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Jonman 7 years, 7 months ago

how come the review title says "sly fox"