The Night Flier Review

Welcome to Bat Country

For better or for worse, PageNet’s latest game feels familiar right off the bat (no pun intended). Yet another cutesy, side-scrolling highscore-a-thon, The Night Flier (out now, $0.99 Free!) challenges you to defy death for as long as possible as you swoop through a series of dusky cityscapes dodging all manner of wacky obstacles and enemies.

Genre fans will feel at home with this game’s one-touch control scheme. While the titular night flier automatically flits across the screen, to avoid the likes of clouds, chimneys that spurt noxious plumes of smoke, weather balloons and radioactive flying pigs(!), you simply tap and hold a finger to the screen to ascend and remove it to descend. Thankfully, The Night Flier’s controls are crisp and responsive because environments are absolutely jam-packed with death traps.

Colliding with certain obstacles kills the little bat outright, while glancing against others only knocks a chunk off his healthbar, so your survival depends on a combination of quick reactions and on the fly risk assessment. Munching midges tops up your health while, during later levels, powerups like a rocket which makes you temporarily invincible also come into play.

High-scores are tallied up at the end of each play-through and your accumulated points can then be used to unlock extra levels and purchase special items such as an extra life and pause button from the in-game store. Now, having to buy a pause button strikes me as more than a little silly, but – even though they can take quite a while to reach – the increasingly action-packed bonus stages are well worth striving for. Since the latest update, The Night Flier features Game Center integration and an unobtrusive in-app purchase which also helps boost the game’s longevity.

A few minor niggles aside, The Night Flier is a lot of fun. I’d have no problem recommending this charming and compelling little game even at its original price, so for $0.00, it’s something of a must-have if you’re after another cute, side-scrolling survival game for your collection.

iFanzine Verdict: While The Night Flier doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, it’s still recommendable to those who like their games cute, casual and fully stocked with unlockables and achievements. Well worth swooping up while free.

[xrr rating=3/5]