Video Game / Glider

A series of Macintosh arcade games by John Calhoun. Players navigate a paper airplane past an assortment of lethal household objects, using the ubiquitous hot air vents to stay aloft.

Glider (versions 1 through 3, 1988-1991) was a simple shareware game for the original monochrome Mac. The house was a corridor 15 screens long, with version 2 adding backgrounds to what had all been White Void Rooms, and version 3 adding a cat as a Final Boss.

Glider 4.0 (1991) added optional color art, a Level Editor, and a multi-story house with many new items. This was a commercial release through Casady & Greene, who later published an Expansion Pack. It was also the most ported of the series, showing up on Windows in 1994, on the Apple Newton in 2002, and as an NES cartridge in 2008. No, really.

Glider PRO (1994) was designed to be "Glider 4.0 times ten. Everything would be up a notch or two." Players could now leave the house and check out the neighborhood, and modders could craft total conversions. No detail was left unimproved, from the TV sets (which played animations) to the clocks (which showed the correct time).

Glider Classic (2011) brings the premise back to basics, guided by a "Colorforms" aesthetic. It's out now for OS X and iOS.

When the series' former publisher Casady & Greene went bankrupt, all rights to their Glider releases reverted to John Calhoun, who declared them Freeware. You can find them on Mac and PC Abandonware sites.

These games contain examples of:

  • Darker and EdgierGlider 4.0, as described by
    The game now felt somehow darker and edgier, like the house secretly had it in for you, and all was not well in the magical Glider-land. The rooms became more claustrophobic, fraught with danger, as though you were leaving the playground and entering a war-zone.
  • Disney Owns This Trope — Apple initially blocked Classic from the App Store for depicting, in homage to the game's roots, a Macintosh model that had been off the market for 19 years. If the decision hadn't been reversed on appeal, Calhoun was prepared to drape a sheet over the Mac in protest.
  • Downloadable Content — The first NES game to support it, thanks to a flashable cartridge.
  • Star-Shaped Coupon — Magic stars.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial — From "Demo House":
  • Unwinnable by Mistake — It's possible to accidentally skip an entire section of Slumberland, and lose its star.
  • Updated Re-releaseGlider PRO CD and Glider PRO X.
  • Utility Weapon — Rubber bands can flip switches.
  • "Untitled" Title: The Level Editor in PRO will name any newly created room "Untitled Room." The editor gives a count the number of rooms not renamed from this default when saving a house, which gives users an incentive to change every "Untitled Room" to something else, even border rooms that aren't meant to be accessible but may be partly visible in 9-room mode. (The default house "Slumberland" names such border rooms "Darling.")
    • Slumberland contains a room called "This Room Has No Name".
  • Variable MixGlider PRO's music slips into a holding pattern if you're stuck in one room too long. The return of the main theme when you make it out is cathartic.

Alternative Title(s): Glider PRO