Review: Glider Classic available for iPad, iPhone and Mac

Glider PRO is back as Glider Classic for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, and I’m very happy about it.

When I graduated from college in 1994, I took a job here in Massachusetts. It came with a drawer full of candy, the young woman who would become my wife and a SE/30 running Glider. The snacks and dates were fine, but boy did I love that game.

It featured a paper airplane that must be flown through a large house while dodging obstacles, pulling off tricks and solving puzzles.

A year later, Cassidy & Greene purchased it from author John Calhoun and re-released as Glider PRO, with enhancements like tin foil armor, indoor and outdoor play and an enhanced “house editor,” which let you create your own course. I loved it.

Unfortunately, Cassidy & Greene went out of business a few years later and rights to the game returned to Calhoun. He released a free but limited version for Mac OS X, and I’d occasionally fire it up, wishing for an iOS version.

Today, Glider Classic is available for iOS ($0.99, universal) and Mac OS X (1.99). Both are fun, nostalgic for old-time gamers like me and simple to learn. While there’s no house editor, I’ve still found plenty to love. Here’s my review of Glider Classic on the iPad.

UI

The graphics have been updated but retain the old charm. You’ll find Retina Display support on a compatible iPhone and lots of room to play on the iPad. While most of the scenes have been updated (see comparison below), it’s still unmistakably Glider.

Glider PRO

Glider Classic

The controls are unobtrusive arrows on the left and right of the screen, and the pause button is the center of the screen itself. Finally, your remaining planes appear in the upper left-hand corner while your score is shown in the right.

My only complaint about the game’s look is that bottom 1/4 of the screen is a static blue rectangle with the logo in the center. There’s no way to dismiss it and it’s really distracting. I’m not sure why that’s there and I wish it wasn’t.

Game Play

Glider Classic is pretty much the game I remember. Your job is to eventually guide the airplane out of the house by flying room to room while avoiding obstacles. There are several warm air vents on the floor which give the plane a lift. Glide from one to the other, being careful not to bump into a table, cabinet, teddy bear or other object that will end your flight.

There are fun tricks and puzzles to solve along the way. For instance, a malfunctioning electrical socket would set your plane on fire; bump into a light switch to flick it off. Or bump into a thermostat to turn vents on or off as needed. There are other goodies, but I don’t want to give away too much.

It’s non-violent fun and one of those “just one more try” games. It also featues Game Center integration so you can challenge your friends.

I’ve got a complaint about the game play, and it’s the placement of the controls. They’re little less than half way up on the iPad, and my thumbs naturally rest at the halfway point, so I sometimes miss them. But that’s just my preference.

Conclusion

Ninety-nine cents is nothing to pay for a game that’s good fun, challenging and nostalgic. This looking for a light-hearted, pick-up-and-play diversion ought to check out Glider Classic. You’ll be glad you did.