Since the dawn of time, flying was one of the most cherished dreams of the Homo sapiens. From Icarus, through Wright brothers to Amelia Earhart, many had strived toward this goal with varying degree of success. Some had managed to take-off splendidly, while others flopped and gave lives for their ideal so that those who follow them might succeed where they failed. Well, if you’re an iPhone or Android user and you want to hear all about a real flying success story, meet Ava, a girl who managed to turn this dream into reality thanks to the sheer enthusiasm, plenty of ingenuity and awesome daring for making and using all kinds of wacky flying contraptions.
Essentially, it can be said that Ava Airborne, a game by indie British studio Laser Dog, belongs to the popular endless runner genre, with the exception, of course, that you’ll be flying, not running. In fact, due to the specific game mechanics, your very goal will be to fly as long as possible and every contact with the ground will end… well fatally. You’ll start from your makeshift launch pad (generally, everything about Ava’s flying venture has that special homey quality), boldly jump into the abyss and then fly. The exact way you’ll fly largely depends on your particular vehicle: different gliders will act pretty much normally, while some other sky transportation means will make a pretty surreal impression, to say the least. For instance, flying with the yo-yo (I kid you not!) would make you seem like the combination of Tarzan and Spiderman, as you cast it around, swing by its thread and make spectacular and impossible loops – it works brilliantly, just don’t ask me how. Nevertheless, the gameplay and game controls are exceptionally simple and always the same, no matter the vehicle: tap and hold if you want to glide and increase your height, and if you let go you’ll start free falling which will give you a tremendous speed, just remember to start taping again before you hit the ground.
Now, although you’d normally expect clear and relatively empty skies (with just an occasional bird) for Ava to hone her flying skills, the situation is quite the opposite. In Ava Airbourne, the sky is everything but empty – it’s filled with objects that seem to belong to some flying circus. Some of them, such as various hoops, catapults and trampolines are there to aid you in your flight increasing your velocity, some like zeppelins will impede you, making you bounce off, change your direction and lose your speed, while contact with black balloons or lasers (!) could prove fatal. The great thing is that even if you start falling like a stone, you could always try to recover by tapping the screen with two fingers.
Successful flying will be rewarded with higher flying ranks (there’s 15 of them in total), from a newbie Leaf to hotshot Ace class. The higher ranking will give you the access to better (and more weirder)equipment, so you’ll soon be able to change your initial homemade Glider with more advanced versions, and even things like yo-yo’s, Waltzers and other. With Ava Airbourne, the sky’s the only limit – literarily.
Endless runners and games of similar ilk usually have great graphics and Ava Airbourne is no different. The visuals are super cute, with pleasant pastel-like colors and simple cartoonish characters. Ava Airbourne had been compared with games such as Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey, but this particular title has somewhat different sensibility. If Alto’s adventure was a game devised to provide you with the tranquil zen-like experience, Ava Airborne will give you a ride full of exhilaration, joy, and liberation which only the sensation of unbridled flight can afford you.