As with all my WP7 reviews, this review is based on the game as a mobile game, and not compared to full-fledged console titles.
I will be up front and admit that I bought this game because I'd read the achievements were easy and it was $1. Those of you who read my reviews consistently know I am not ashamed to rent (or even buy, if the price is right...) a game because I can finish it in less than 10 hours. However, what I found was pleasantly surprising.
The final playtime I have for this clocks in at 6.5 hours for the full 200, but if it had been longer I would've been happier. That's not to say I felt like it was short or there was a shortage of things to do. I was just having so much fun playing it that I would've loved to play more. It could be that my only alternative to playing this was doing active reloads in Gears 3 since my xbox was tied up in a session, and the Diablo 3 servers were down at the time, but I really found myself enjoying this game.
The basic premise is simple. You play a girl named Eryn who is somehow transported to another dimension. How she got there is never really explained, and the only reason I know she somehow ended up somewhere she didn't belong was because at the end you get a small blurb about how happy she is to be home.
So, you could say the story is lacking. There isn't really a story. Anyway, Eryn loves to hang glide. Not that you are all too surprised about that, seeing as the title of the game is "glyder" I would hope that it is pretty obvious what you will be doing throughout this game. There are a bunch of different sets of wings that have different abilities; some are better for flying fast, others are better for carrying heavy objects. Some wings are best suited for turning ability, or the length of time they can glide without the aid of thermals or boosts. Two of the wings can even store up the boosts for later use. This last thing is really helpful for the time trials. You will need to experiment with the different kinds of wings if you expect to get the full 200 (and more enjoyment) out of this game.
You can also change your outfit, though that doesn't really affect anything and you won't even notice what outfit you're wearing after a minute or two.
The ratio of this game can be somewhat misleading. I think that the reason the ratio is so high is because people give up after about 5 minutes of playing. If you do that, let me say you are missing out on all the best parts of the game. The fun doesn't really start until after you figure out that you have to fly off to another island and start unlocking the different wings to really do well, and that this giant ice island you inexplicably find yourself flying around is only the start of the game. Speaking of the ice island, it is one of seven different areas including a space area that you have to unlock to reach.
The graphics are no more or less than you'd expect from a mobile game. There are many different environments to look at (and fly around) ranging from a desert oasis with a pyramid you must fly through, to an erupting volcano that has orbs you have to collect without getting burnt up, and even an underground mushroom farm.
The sound is forgettable. There will be a bit of music every now and then but it isn't constant; which is a good thing. I didn't have to mute this like I do most mobile games.
You will spend most of your time in this game gliding around collecting things. Normally I hate collectables, but the orbs you grab in this game make you fly around and view the scenery, making daring runs through narrow corridors and frustrating moving doors. Once you get to that part under Oasis, don't leave until you've collected all the pink orbs and the one set of wings that are in there, and grabbed both related achievements. Getting back in sucks.
There are two methods of control; tilt and touch. The tilt controls work fine and provide a lot of fun, but don't offer the same amount of accuracy required for the time trials and some of the harder challenges (like the aforementioned moving doors in the Oasis temple or the checkpoint challenge on Perpetua). The only problem I ran into was that sometimes when using the touch controls, they wouldn't respond correctly and I would crash. Not a big deal but sometimes resulted in minor annoyance.
There it is. If you picked this game up but haven't finished it, give it a second try. This time, try flying off that first island ;). If you aren't sure about it, give it a first try. It's well worth the entry price. Just make sure that after you collect all the orbs on the first island (you can't get that gold one until later...) that you fly off to the next one.
Graphics: 4 / 5
Nothing impressive, but the scenery is very nice to look at. The art design is well thought out and well executed.
Sound: 4 / 5
Forgettable, but not annoying; which is important.
Controls: 3 / 5
Points off for causing me to crash due to not responding correctly at a few rare times. Other than that, great.
Achievements: 4 / 5
The full 200 can be earned in less than 7 hours. I managed to do all achievements and grab all outfits and wings (that last part isn't necessary) in 6.5 hours.
Replayability: 3 / 5
Not much reason to go back once you finish collecting everything and get all the achievements. You could try to improve your times on the time challenge as you get an even better set of wings for completing the game, but why bother?
Overall 4.5 / 5
If you're looking for something that's fun, cheap, and has relatively easy achievements, this is definitely the game for you. At $1, this game is a steal.