When a young woman named Eryn finds herself trapped in an alternate dimension, Glyder casts you as the wind beneath her wings. This chilled out platformer fulfils lofty ambitions with gorgeous visuals and pleasant gameplay, even if a couple minor oversights keep it from truly taking off into classic territory.
Tilting your handset to control Eryn and her gliding machine, your goal being to collect coloured crystals scattered about the game's six areas. Only by finding every hidden crystal can you activate the portal through which Eryn may return home. Surprisingly, the game comes without any calibration option, leaving you to play at a predetermined angle. It's been set at a reasonable angle (you're assumed to be playing while sitting up), yet mindful design doesn't compensate for the omission of this necessary feature.
Your quest for blue, pink, and gold crystals takes you across an expansive, seamless world. Glyder impresses with its wide open space, the lack of loading between areas a noted technical achievement. Venturing from the lofty castle in the Lost Kingdom to the rocky spires of the Dark Pinnacle can be done without interruption, although the long distancesseparating each area making such a trek undesirable.
Grin and bear it you must when surveying the game's locales for the first time. Upon starting Glyder, only the centrally-located Rift Valley is accessible; other areas open up as you glide toward shadowy landmarks on the horizons. You're welcome to warp among locations once discovered using a map accessible from the upper-right corner.
Each area houses a specific number of crystals, which must be collected not only to activate the portal for sending Eryn back home but also to open up new points of interest. Amassing a certain number of crystals, for example, raises the Lost Kingdom from the briny depths of the ocean where additional crystals can be found. This places crystal collection on par with exploration, the two intimately tied together.
Finding crystals is never a problem, yet grabbing them can be a real chore. Few are found floating midair waiting to be snatched up; instead, most are nestled within narrow caves and close to the ground. Gliding through tiny aerial passageways gives Glyder a sense of challenge, but the precipitous placement of crystals near the ground and other surfaces make it frustrating. Attempts to collect these crystals invariably lead to crashes, luck being the only means by which you end up finally snapping up the things.
Bagging all the crystals completes Eryn's journey, but it's far from finishing the game. Glyder includes a staggering number of achievements that broaden play, providing an alternative to crystal collecting and extending the value of the game. Achievements range from simple tasks like attaining a certain speed or altitude to more harrowingendeavours like gliding atop a ledge or through a skinny corridor. There are also time trials situated in each area that have you racing against the clock by gliding between coloured platforms.
More than any achievement or desire to collect those tough crystals, it's the game's easy-going nature that will draw you back. Airy music and bright, detailed visuals invoke a casual charm. It's a very pleasant experience, one which could nevertheless use a couple tweaks to achieve near-perfection. Reasonable repositioning of the most troublesome crystals and the addition of a calibration tool are needed for Glyder to soar to the full height of its potential.