Non Flying Soldiers, a side-scrolling survival puzzler developed by Blue Shadow Games and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Featuring quirky puzzles and cute characters, Non Flying Soldiers serves as a fun little diversion despite its easy gameplay.
Non Flying Soldiers Pros:
- Charming presentation with smooth animations and quirky puzzles
- Militaristic soundtrack befitting the game style
- Simple drag and tap controls; good responsiveness
- GameCenter and Crystal integration for achievements and an arcade leaderboard
Non Flying Soldiers Cons:
- Doesn’t offer much of a challenge
- Camera angles make it awkward to judge positioning accurately
Non Flying Soldiers contains 45 levels across 3 campaigns in which you must use a variety of elements to assist auto-running birds through an obstacle course full of dangers. You have a small number of limited items to place before letting loose the birds. There is a bit of trial-and-error as you watch the action play out and make minor adjustments to the placement of items, then repeat until successful. As you proceed, you can also collect up to 3 medals scattered throughout each level, as well as the occasional arcade token. Useable objects include barriers, bounce pads, speed burst pads, fans, and more. The gameplay is pretty hands-off for the most part, though later levels will require some intervention on your part while the birds make their way through the obstacles. These inconveniences include electrified fences, spike pits, buzz saws, rings of fire, and the like. Success is measured via a checklist of main and secondary missions that include saving a certain number of birds (there can be acceptable losses), snagging all medals, and besting the level timer.
Graphically, the animations are pretty smooth and the physics are fairly realistic, though there is a bit of floatiness to them. As this is a function of the birds attempting to fly, we see no issue with it. The birds each have a unique look, and different species have abilities that come in handy in specific situations (the mass of larger birds is great for smashing blockades, other birds are capable of swimming). There are multiple camera angles available, and they are easy to switch between. When the actual runthrough occurs, the viewpoint is locked in a top-down view, however. The pre-run display has the tendency to get a little busy and confusing. The soundtrack has a militaristic feel that ties in with the soldier concept, though there isn’t really anything too military-centric besides the game’s title. The obstacle course could have easily served non-militaristic purposes, as well. Controls use dragging to place items, as well as rotate them into position. Tapping comes into play when you need to interact with objects while the birds are running. We had no major issues with the controls.
Replay value is decent, as you can go back and tweak item placements to earn missed medals and score better times. An Arcade mode requiring tokens to play is also available, offering a shooting gallery mini-game. GameCenter and Crystal integration allows for achievements and a leaderboard for the arcade mode. A universal app for $0.99, Non Flying Soldiers is a solid 3.5-Dimple choice.
Non Flying Soldiers Review,