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iPad  header logo

High Flyer Death Defyer

For: iPad

No hands

Product: High Flyer Death Defyer | Developer: Game Mechanic Studios | Publisher: Game Mechanic Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: US
High Flyer Death Defyer iPad, thumbnail 1
The iPad 2 is getting to the point where its visuals actual rival the home consoles. With cartoon graphics similar to the old skool Jet Set Radio series, High Flyer Death Defyer is a fun adventure that puts style over substance.

Told via very cool comic-book panels, the plot sees you saving the world from apocalypse by stopping some hostile aliens while saving a kind, energy-based alien race from destruction.

The story is a little convoluted, but the gameplay boils down to diving from your perch above and collecting items to combat the insurgence as you fall.

The entire game is an elaborate skydive. Once you jump off, you use the virtual thumbstick to nudge your hero in any direction. Additional buttons let you do barrel rolls and use a jet to fall even faster. A reverse jet icon appears when you get close to a landing area, which is usually a floating rock, and you can adjust him properly for a safe landing.

The game is interspersed with landing missions. See a landing pad, land well, and you can run around the floating rock collecting items. Later in the game you connect with Charisma, one of the captured friendlies, and she helps you free her fellow aliens from their hidden prisons and unlock new useful skills.

Fast and furious

The constant free fall mechanic is entertaining, with your hero spinning downward and the cloudy skies blurring past you. The character and item designs are very well done, employing a technique called cel-shading familiar from the mega-hit Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

The controls are fairly precise, though a slippery iPad screen may prevent you from doing the exact manoeuvre you’re trying to accomplish. The three control options all depend on the touchscreen, and we’d like a future update to give a tilt control option.

A long drop

High Flyer Death Defyer contains an impressive number of worlds. The long, occasionally intense tutorial pushes all the skills you need in an short, Angry Birds-style format, and the game itself has big, long drops with plenty of islands, enemies, and platforms which you can interact.

You have no weapons, so the bad guys require special techniques, and the many islands give you an excuse to replay certain drops to make sure you found every item.

There isn't much variety, though. More would have made High Flyer Death Defyer a must-have title. Aside from prisoners, the items you find are generic relics that all give the same number of points.

Graphically, the islands and landings begin to look the same fairly quickly. Once the rush of skydiving wears off, you begin to feel like the many areas are repeating themselves.

As it is, High Flyer Death Defyer looks good, plays well, and brings originality to the arcade genre. For those interested in a challenge, it’s worth a look.
High Flyer Death Defyer
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 18 October 2011
High Flyer Death Defyer provides nice fast-paced arcade action, though it does get repetitive after a while
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