Soar through the sky with Superflight – a wingsuit simulator

By ·November 21, 2017 9:00 am

Superflight, a flight simulator, was released November 8th. In the game, you control a winged polygon flying through procedurally-generated landscapes, also all made of polygons. The wind’s at your back, your character’s pumping adrenaline and discovering new worlds – it’s as if you’re an alien landing on a planet for the first time, or a superhero, or even someone merely seeking the thrill of adventure.

The game is simplistic, and based on a couple of mechanics: you move your guy using the arrow keys or a controller, and the riskier your flight, the more points you get. Risky flight usually means trying to fly as close to the walls as possible, though you can simply avoid all the obstacles to travel through world after world.

You can get most of the experience within the first two minutes, when you’re busy trying to work in ‘close shaves’ so you can maximize your points. Yet even so, it’s easy to get engrossed in the game for half an hour. Superflight, like many of those Flash games you might have played a decade or so ago, or even games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, provides an enjoyable experience even though it doesn’t have many frills.

Instead, the game makes a few choice decisions that really amp up your personal experience. Let’s look at some of them here.

You feel like it’s you, but not too much

Personal, but not overly so.

Thanks to well-thought camera movement, dynamic zooming, and visual effects like fading in and out, Superflight helps strikes a good balance between distance and closeness. You feel you’re the one traveling through the air, but not as if you’re the one responsible for it.

There’s also the choice of perspective. By choosing to keep the game in third-person with a few elements of first-person, Superflight takes off the added pressure and responsibility that can come with an entirely first-person vantage point.

In a game where you’re perpetually falling, making dizzying tricks and turns, and preventing your character from crashing – all things that constantly challenge your own vertigo – that’s definitely a choice well made.

You feel like you’re special, and know others who are special, too

Though you might have to work on your current score a bit.

There’s something else, too, that comes with the feeling that you’re not just controlling the character. You aren’t just another person in a city, or another citizen in a world. The experience you create for yourself is uniquely yours.

That feeling of flying around and being whisked around by or fighting against the wind all alone – that makes you feel special, somehow, like you’re the only one in the world who can do that.

At the end of every run, the game grounds you, too, reminding you that there’s a whole community who have shared in the experience. It displays a screen that tells you how you fared in relation to others who’ve played the game, like your high score and your best combo.

Unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer for this game (yet), but there’s another nifty feature in the game that’s great for getting people together. You can create an entire world from a ‘seed’ phrase like your name. Once you type it in, it spawns a unique world for that phrase, and you can let others type it in to access the same world you’ve been soaring around in.

You feel like you can relax, even with all the excitement

Travel through a range of infinite possibilities.

A lot of games I’ve played lately have felt like they were high stakes. I’d have to constantly keep on my feet and battle wave after wave of enemies that came after me. Or I’d be playing something that really messed with your psychology, and had to make choices that could potentially destroy the livelihood of a stranger and their family.

Even though Superflight is a game that requires you to focus on what you’re doing – some of those descents can be harrowing – you never feel like it’s overwhelming in any way. Without missions, or hordes of different mission points to take care of, you can focus solely on enjoying the game for being just that, a game.

In fact, you can even turn off the combination points you’d get for riskier flying by turning on ‘zen mode,’ so that Superflight doesn’t bother you about your score as you’re flying.

Complementing this are Superflight’s blocky visuals and serene and calm colors, which help to ease the tension and evoke that surreal experience of being transported to somewhere else. The game really is a nice way to escape and transform into a superhero-like, special being.

Image credits: GrizzlyGames

Written by Alane Lim

Alane Lim is a materials science graduate student and writer based in Chicago, IL. She has been published in science, satire, and entertainment writing, the latter focusing on character and show analyses.

Her interests include indie games, Archie comics, and sci-fi/fantasy books.

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