Why I Love Superflight
Superflight (Steam) is one of the few games in existence about flying a wingsuit. It’s a very simple arcade style game about flying through fairly big, abstract and colourful procedurally generated levels and scoring points by flying dangerously. Reach the bottom of a level and you’ll reappear in a new one. If played with a controller, there are only two controls. The left stick is used to control flight and A resets the game.
Superflight isn’t an easy game. I’d hesitate to call it hard, though, as you are hopefully, after a few spectacular crashes, in control of your proximity to the terrain and the speed of your descent. It’s not easy, not hard, but it is tricky. This isn’t just one of those dodge-the-obstacles games, though. If you don’t like the look of something, you can usually turn around and fly off in a different direction. In fact, if you don’t feel like flying near things, you don’t have to. You can just go sightseeing instead.
Flying a wingsuit isn’t really flying, but more “falling with style”. I spent a long time gliding peacefully around the vibrant, geometric levels, enjoying the sound of wind rushing past and watching the colours drift by. When played that way, Superflight is a very calm and peaceful experience. Once I’d gotten more used to flying, I started caring about my high score. I love a good arcade high score chasing game. As I crashed over and over, getting a little better each time, I learned that by staying close to things, my multiplier would increase and my score would increase faster, but if I flew too far away from everything for even a moment, the multiplier would reset. I learned that flying through small gaps grants a bonus and eventually learned that flying through even smaller gaps grants an even bigger bonus.
I tried just repeating a very dangerous (high scoring) level in an attempt to score some kind of super-combo. The game lets you save and replay levels if you find one with a particularly graceful route that you absolutely must show off to your friends. Showing off had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it, of course … Played like that, Superflight is an exhilarating test of anticipation and control, and very short. In the end I found that taking it relatively slowly and gently was the best approach. I only took the opportunity to perform operation sweet manoeuvres when I felt confident I could do so without breaking my neck.
When played that way, Superflight is zen-like. It’s serene. It’s pure, swooping, aerodynamic bliss, right up until the moment I realise I’m about to crash. Then there’s a moment of utter panic before I break every bone in my body, then it’s all over and it’s time to start again. I’ve spent hours hugging cliff faces and clinging close to the ground, scoping ahead for which turn to take next to not break my combo or bones and staying vigilant of my speed and trajectory. Up is not a sustainable direction. I have underestimated my speed many times and flopped pitifully onto the ground beneath me.
When I try to set a high score, Superflight requires me to focus in the same sort of way as when I am driving. I find myself in a similar trance-like state, but Superflight is simpler and harder at the same time. Remember that is also tricky, which I maintain is not quite the same as hard. In the end I got a high score I will be happy with until Tom beats it (378,666), which took a run of at least half an hour, but it was one of the most pleasant half hours of my life.
Superflight is a very simple game. It is low budget and low polygon. It is great fun and thrilling, yet very soothing and tranquil. It is swoopy, wingsuit flying bliss and I love it. It is also incredible value for money as it’s currently £2.09/$2.99 on Steam. I think you should buy it if you have not already.
P.S. If anyone at GrizzlyGames ever reads this, please make a sequel with a few more features and a bit more polish.