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Video Game / Glyder

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Possibly the most serene gaming experience on iOS

"I like dimensional rifts as much as the next girl, but how am I going to find my way home now?"
Eryn, Glyder title screen

Glyder was a series of tilt-controlled flight simulation games designed by Glu Mobile, in which Irish Action Girl and Mad Scientist (and Casual Time Traveller) Eryn repeatedly finds herself trapped in large, dangerous and extremely vertical environments with nothing except the clothes on her back. Oh, and the huge homemade mechanical wings she never leaves home without, of course.

A rarity in iOS design, Glyder games are very peaceful and serene, with surprisingly beautiful vistas for a 3D mobile game. There are no time or death penalties, and the soundtrack is restful throughout. The pleasantly retro UI with dials for altitude and velocity fit nicely with the Steampunk style of the wings. All in all, it's a pretty delightful game.

Unfortunately, Glu Mobile had some difficulties adapting it to iOS4 in 2010. In a moment of brilliance, they decided the best thing to do would be to delete both titles from the App Store completely. The fanbase was less than happy.


Not to be confused with the paper airplane simulator Glider.

An interview with the creators on the launch of the first game is available on Pocket Gamer.

This game provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Slightly present in the first game, but more noticeable in the second. After choosing "Arctasia", "Ascension" and "Sporelle" as location names, Eryn also picks "Oasis" and "Isle of Friends".
  • Action Girl: Eryn regularly leaps off tall structures in order to glide over chasms, lava pools and massive drops, trusting in her own skills and the wings she's made.
  • Another Dimension: The Excuse Plot for both games. The dimension rift leading to the first game is never explained, while Glyder 2 begins when a blast from a "dimensional harmonizer" deposits Eryn in her newest set of mountainous terrain.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Breaking a single wing (normally from flying too close to a vertical structure) shows Eryn masterfully piloting the glider along anyway, but the screen quickly fades out to reset you to a launch platform, since steering would be impossible.
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  • Bottomless Pit: Averted. There's always something for you to crash into!
  • Call-Back: Rift Valley from the first game reappears inside a glass case in the second game's dimension. Fridge Brilliance in that the first game had a noticeable height limit...
  • Collision Damage: Given that your only enemy is the terrain, kind of a given. Eryn just won't listen if you try to land anywhere except a landing platform, though, leading to this. Even at minimum speed and a very low angle, gently touching the ground or ocean will result in a big crashing of wings.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Pink, blue and yellow crystals all form different sets. Completing one set generally causes some route to open, revealing otherwise inaccessible crystals of the other colours.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Zig-zagged. The easiest and most efficient way to gain altitude is to fly into thermals, marked by spinning icons; these are particularly common over the molten rocks in Magma Core. Feel free to fly low over the lava wherever there isn't a marked thermal, though: there's not a hint of updraft.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: At the start of Glyder 2, scientifically-minded Eryn receives a mysterious device from an unknown person, glowing with an unnatural light. First thing our established genius heroine does? Poke it with a screwdriver.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Crash into a mountainside? Hit the ocean at terminal velocity? Dive into a pool of molten rock? Eryn shrugs it off and returns at the nearest launch pillar. She's a trooper like that.
  • Hammerspace: Eryn is storing all those crystals somewhere, right?
  • Jet Pack: Certain sets of wings available near the end of the games allow you to boost, either constantly or after storing charges. This is rather handy when going for 100PercentCompletion, since you can reach high altitudes away from thermals far more easily than by dolphining.
  • Lethal Lava Land: In both games. Plenty of thermals abound.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Cleverly averted during play. Every single island on the map can be flown to from the first without a loading screen; realistically, though, the islands are separated by fairly wide bodies of water. As you fly over the low-polygon ocean, the island ahead is loaded up as the one you leave loses resolution.
    • Played horribly, horribly straight when starting the second game, however. It's a single loading bar, but can take almost two minutes to complete. On a mobile game. Ouch.
  • Magitek: Heavily implied. At the start of the second game, Eryn is working on an "ethereal heliosolanium capacitor".
  • Nitro Boost: Boost crystals instantly set your velocity to just shy of the maximum. Very handy for emergency altitude gains. Very dangerous indoors.
  • Point-and-Click Map: An optional method for getting back to previous islands. It's never necessary to use it, though.
  • Pure Energy: One or more unlockable set of wings in each game.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, all over the place. The launch platforms often give rather nice vistas.
  • Sequence Breaking: The "dolphining" move, in which you dive to gain speed then pull back into an ascent, gives you a tiny bit of extra altitude (against all known laws of Physics). This was deliberately added by the developers, but with enough time and effort, this allows you to reach (and permanently unlock) some of the really high areas that you're supposed to start fans to reach. In certain cases, this lets you ignore an entire colour of collectible crystals.
  • Steampunk: Eryn's homemade wings are classic steampunk flying machines.
  • Stripperific: For an all-ages game, some of Eryn's alternate outfits in the second game can get a little... skimpy. And, uh, tight.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Understandable, given the large areas of newly-sodden cloth attached to Eryn.
  • Timed Mission: Sort of. The "trips" in both games challenge you to complete a route (in the first game, simply A to B) within a modest time limit. They're all optional, though, and mainly exist to show off some of the beautiful caverns and shortcuts that you might not otherwise have flown through.
  • Warp Whistle: The map will take you to any previously visited island, although only to the starting launch pillar.


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