Red Bull Flugtag
| Red Bull Flugtag

Bored this weekend? Fancy strapping your sofa to your back and jumping off a 30 foot pier? How about using some of your lampshades as wings, or attempting to fashion some sort of glider out of those rugs by the fireplace?

The details might differ, but such celebrated delirium is what takes place every year all around the world when Red Bull's Flugtag pulls into town – the idea being to create your own flying machine before promptly dumping both it and yourself in the sea.

Given that I'm more likely to be found wrapped up in my quilt in the middle of the afternoon than leaping off a pier with parts of furniture attached to my limbs, I can't say HandyGames's take on Red Bull's birdman rally appeals. Fortunately, this is less an attempt to reproduce the real event, and more a test of memory and maths.

Fight or flight?

At a base level, play hinges on your ability to pick the right craft for the right distance.

Rather than plunging straight into the sea, as most real life competitors do, all of Red Bull Flugtag's flying machines are capable of soaring for a distance, the idea being to use the five available to you in each level to reach a series of targets out in the ocean.

Said craft are delivered on cards, in a fashion much akin to top trumps. Each card rates the machine in question in terms of the distance it's able to achieve, with far off targets naturally suited to the more aerodynamic craft.

Once you've picked your vehicle – new cards won as you clear each level – you then launch it, determining just how much power you need to put behind it to reach the required distance.

This is supposedly where the science comes in – those with sharp memories are no doubt able to determine just how much force they should put behind each particular machine.

Such a skill is indeed important, given that your attempts are limited in one fashion or another.

Standard, or silver, levels charge you with making three landings, the target being to meet a target score. Blue levels up the challenge somewhat, with three successful landings within a variable number of attempts the aim.

Finally, red stages are the quickest and the most intense, with only one landing required but with multiple targets to hit along the way.

Dunkers' delight

As such, familiarising yourself with each craft's range is the quickest route to glory.

While you also retain some control over each craft mid-flight – pressing up on the D-pad giving it an extra boost, hitting down slamming on the brakes – Red Bull Flugtag is simply a series of guesses, success rewarding you with nothing but new craft and a new stage on the worldwide tour.

Given that each flying machine is much like the next – bar the distance it's actually able to achieve – Red Bull Flugtag is actually surprisingly short on character.

As such, it's hard to see this as anything but a quick-fix: not likely to dump itself straight in the water, but far from gliding off graciously into the sunset.

Red Bull Flugtag

Fun for a few short minutes, Red Bull Flugtag's gotta-collect-'em-all approach doesn't quite win through thanks to some fairly repetitive air-play
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.