Cows Don’t Fly
| Cows Don't Fly

Cows don’t fly. In the animal trivia stakes, it’s hardly up there with 'sharks actually do sleep' or 'chickens can fly (sort of)', is it?

Nevertheless, that’s the title of HyperBees’s latest Android game. If it’s not a particularly surprising statement, though, how about this one: there are no cows in this game.

Rather, you take control of an odd little block creature in a pleasant (if slightly bland) world full of floating balls.

Over the moon

Each of these suspended balls (called bongos) has its own planet-like gravitational field. You must make your little block hop from one to another, pulling away from one bongo's invisible grasp and latching onto another en route to the exit portal.

Tapping the screen will initiate a little hop, while holding will activate something approaching flight. While this is pretty simple to get right, it’s hard to make your leaps accurate enough to collect the stars that are dotted around each level (you need all of them if you’re to get a perfect rating).

Nevertheless, this control mechanic stays just the right side of frustrating as you attempt to judge the ideal take-off point to reach that star or cross that gap. Misjudge, and it’s a watery grave at the bottom of the screen for you.

Cow tipping

It’s the movement controls that really throw Cows Don’t Fly off balance. The game makes use of the accelerometer for manoeuvring your block around each bongo – tilting left to move clockwise, right for anti-clockwise.

This is fine for basic planet-skipping, but the game occasionally demands more from you – and that’s more than the control system can handle. For example, you might find yourself hopping between bongos that are half-submerged in deadly water. With no fixed centre-point, it’s all too easy to roll off the side and into the drink, leading to multiple restarts.

It’s the same for levels where the water level constantly rises, forcing you to do everything that much more quickly. The controls just aren’t up to the precision required.

When Cows Don’t Fly lets you take your time meandering through its 15 quirky physics-based platformer worlds (plus an endless Challenge mode), it’s good clean fun. It’s just a shame that the shakey control system crumbles under the first sign of pressure.

Cows Don’t Fly

Cows Don’t Fly is a quirky physics-based platformer with controls that don’t always suit the gameplay. As a result, the fun is a little too sporadic for it to be deemed a complete success
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.