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Non Flying Soldiers

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Earn your wings

Product: Non Flying Soldiers | Developer: Blue Shadow Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | File size: 128MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Non Flying Soldiers iPhone, thumbnail 1
You can breathe a sigh of relief. Despite featuring war-mongering avians, Non Flying Soldiers is absolutely nothing like that other App Store game.

In fact, it's much closer in spirit and gameplay to DMA's classic puzzler Lemmings than to Rovio's record-breaking Angry Birds.

Sick as a parrot

In each Non Flying Soldiers level, you're confronted with a linear assault course, full of drops, inclines, and deadly traps. One end serves as your starting point, while your goal is inevitably all the way at the other.

All of your tin-hatted budgie chums trundle forward with a single-minded focus. Hit a trap, though, and they'll explode in a sad little shower of feathers. Your job is to pause the action, analyse the route ahead, then use the various items provided to form a safe path to the other end of the stage.

Springboards, for instance, send your budgies barrelling over pits; speed boosts hurl them through oil slicks; barricades alter their direction of movement; and so on.

Build it and they will come

Thankfully, the game features a brilliantly conceived interface for all this busy work - a few taps and swipes let you place, rotate, and remove objects on a whim. You can even switch between multiple camera angles to scope out the route more thoroughly.

What's more impressive about Non Flying Birds, though, is the way it's able to constantly surprise via ingenious new contraptions and increasingly sadistic level design.

In later levels, the developer also introduces new birds that completely change the way the game plays. The commando, for example, is more intelligent and agile then your average budgie, forcing you to manage two entirely different sets of priorities in tandem.

As if merely reaching the end of a stage wasn't enough to worry about, completists can work toward earning a host of different awards per level: collecting medals, saving birds, and completing time challenges add a significant amount of replay value.

Insert coin

There's even a bonus retro-themed arcade shooter to spend in-game coins on, which borrows heavily from Sega's classic Space Harrier series. It's mainly for japes - although there's a separate high score table tied to it - but that doesn't mean it's anything less than absurdly addictive.

While we have a few niggles regarding the game's length - Non Flying Soldiers isn't the hardest game in the world once you've got accustomed to its logic - and we have to admit that its trial and error puzzle solving won't be to everyone's liking, we're still mighty impressed by the overall package.

Non Flying Soldiers
is a brilliantly designed building-based puzzler that manages to soar despite its heroes' clipped wings.
 
Non Flying Soldiers
Reviewer photo
Matt Wales | 23 May 2012
A solidly presented, smartly designed construction-based puzzler that's easy to recommend
 
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