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Video Game / Glider

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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:

  • Automatic Level: "Hands-Off House" for Glider 4.0, and "AutoPilot" for Glider PRO.
  • Chimney Entry: The chimneys of the roof background are often made into transporters.
  • Darker and Edgier: Glider 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.
  • Gusty Glade: In 4.0, rooms with windows open to the storm.
  • Respawn on the Spot: You reappear on the same screen.
  • Save-Game Limits: Resumed games are ineligible for high scores.
  • Score Milking: Possible by looping through the same few rooms repeatedly in 2.0, or by camping out to shoot enemies in 4.0. (Whenever Calhoun learned of players Score Milking by such tedious means, he would remove the point incentive for those actions in a subsequent release.)
  • Sequel Escalation:
    Glider 3.0 — 15 rooms
    Glider 4.0 — 62 rooms
    Glider PRO — 403 rooms
  • Slippery Skid: Subverted: spilled grease makes it safe to land on surfaces, and you can stop on a dime.
  • 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 Mix: Glider 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