Modern gaming has taught us that our heroes are sponges for pain, soaking up multiple deadly wounds and laughing them off within a few seconds.

At least, that's the case in the console world. Smartphone and tablet gaming often takes a crueller approach, punishing our mistakes with swift and terminal retribution.

Harry the Fairy combines those two philosophies, handing out deaths like fun-size Mars bars at Halloween while softening the blow with a gentle checkpoint system. It makes for a less frustrating experience, but one that's challenging enough to keep most gamers happy.

All the fun of the fairy

You play as the titular fairy, and it's your job to rescue your fairy friends from the cages they've been locked in. You need to guide Harry through a series of mazes, avoiding the traps and obstacles and solving some simple physics puzzles along the way.

You control Harry either with a floating joypad or by tilting your device. The tilt controls work really well, and give a sense of urgency to proceedings that the joypad can't.

You start each level with a bubble shield, which can withstand a single hit from the spinning drills, boiling lava, and stabby pistons. Once it's gone, any damage you take will throw you back to the last checkpoint.

Handily, those checkpoints also dispense new shields, so if you can make it to one you're in for more than just a place to restart your run.

Fairy play

As the game progresses, you're faced with clever little puzzles that need you to flip switches and push barrels to open previously sealed exits. They're not particularly taxing, but they add another layer to the game, forcing you to think as well as dodge drills.

The levels are just the right size, as well, never taking more than a couple of minutes to complete, but challenging enough that there's a decent sense of accomplishment when you make it to the cage at the end.

Well-balanced, with a sense of fun that's never too far from the surface, Harry the Fairy is an entertaining way to spend a few spare minutes, and it's strong enough to make you come back for more.