Endless runners are often fast and frantic affairs where your reactions are paramount to success, and there are many, many examples available in all mobile app stores. Dream Flight falls into the endless runner genre, so how does it separate itself from the, um, endless competition? Well, Dream Flight isn’t like Temple Run. It’s dreamy, floaty and altogether more relaxing.
Your character is happily dreaming about flying through the skies, and it’s your job to stop him crashing into the scenery, and therefore waking up. During the early levels, you’re avoiding trees and buildings, but soon things take a turn for the more bizarre, and you’ll be zipping past floating beds and icy landscapes.
The controls are very simple, and if you’ve played Flappy Bird, they’ll be very familiar. A press of the screen sees your character soar into the air. Let go, and he’ll slowly drift towards the ground. The scenery speeds up the deeper you get into the level, while the gaps through which you must squeeze get much smaller. The majority of scenes follow this formula, but some throw up a surprise or two.
One in particular is very enjoyable to play. You hit a storm part way through your dream, leaving you spinning in mid-air. The only way to progress is to collect a set of little fluffy clouds. The hard part is, you’re going backwards, and navigating though asteroids at the time. It’s unusual, not at all like an endless runner, and a lot of fun.
Some other stages are zoomed right out, which lowers the usual anxiety that comes with playing an endless runner, but ups the exploration aspect. Otherwise, zipping along the horizontally running landscape is a little repetitive. You can collect the little clouds, but aside from increasing a number in the top left of the screen, it doesn’t seem to have much purpose.
Graphically, Dream Flight is unashamedly 8-bit, so expect lots of pixels. It’s not unattractive though, and the minimalist look suits the dream-like state of the game. While the graphics won’t impress, the audio is much better. Dream Flight has a custom soundtrack which again fits in with the relaxing style.
Despite the game’s simplicity, it does run into a few problems. On the ice stage, the scrolling judders along and the stark white background makes it pretty hard on the eyes. It’s a shame, as the design is good. Dream Flight is also a little short, with only eight levels to the Story Mode, and each can be accessed separately almost straight away.
In addition to the Story Mode, there’s a traditional Endless Mode, where the goal is to simply get as far as you can into the game. A metre-counter increases as you fly along, and it’s considerably more challenging than the Story Mode, which is more about the music and the atmosphere than sharpening your reactions.
Dream Flight is all over a little too quickly, but it’s a quirky and highly playable game while it lasts. There are some achievements to collect, and a leaderboard to compete with friends, but outside of this, we’d question the long term appeal of the game. It’s priced at £0.69, so it’s not an expensive purchase, but when Temple Run and its many competitors are mostly free, it doesn’t offer huge value for money. However, it is compatible with both the iPhone and the iPad.
If you don’t like the dizzying pace presented in most endless runners, Dream Flight is the perfect alternative. For the hardcore, the difficulty level has been maintained in endless mode. This is one to buy for the cool 8-bit look and dreamy atmosphere, rather than one you’ll play for months ahead.