Version Reviewed: 1.05
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Fly, Kiwi, Fly! is a light-hearted go-the-distance game featuring a flightless bird, lots of upgrades, and a trip around the world. You play a stubborn kiwi who's hell-bent on learning to fly. As you add more upgrades to your kiwi's arsenal, the game soon becomes a challenge to earn as many wacky achievements and fly as far as possible. It's a great pick-up-and-play game, and the cheery humor is enough to keep me coming back.
The game itself is simple enough. Your kiwi starts running headlong off a cliff; you tap a button to make him leap into the air. At that point, you can use your other items. At first, you'll have nothing, and the kiwi crashes to the ground, but you can soon purchase gliders, rockets, and launching systems like a cannon in order to send your kiwi ever farther from home. Gliders allow you to soar; rockets chew through fuel but give you a powerful (if temporary) boost to speed, and launching systems give you your initial boost. Items like pogo sticks can also be purchased using the cash you earn from flying.
Ostensibly, the goal is just to fly the longest distance possible, but there's more to it than that. The game world is divided into countries, with different scenery and new achievements becoming available once you reach a new one. Extra fuel and money bags are scattered in the sky. You earn additional money for performing stunts, collecting the money bags, and earning achievements. These achievements range from the "Kamikaze" award (crash from 100mts high without gear) to "Frigate Bird" (exceed 270mts) to unlocking new "countries." You're also awarded dollars based on distance.
The result is a vicious cycle of one-more-time: "I'll just do one more flight so I can buy that catapult...ooh, shiny, just let me test the catapult once before I put this down...oh, but I was so close to reaching Italy!..." Yeah. It gets addicting pretty quickly.
It doesn't hurt that the controls work extremely well. At first, I had a tough time figuring out how to control my kiwi—the direction of your flight is tilt-based, and I couldn't get it to work. Finally, I hit the pause button mid-flight, and lo and behold: calibration options! I set my sensitivity to Medium, switched the control axis to horizontal, and calibrated it with my iPod standing straight up. The resulting scheme was easy to control, which is saying a lot for an accelerometer-based game.
As for the sound and graphics, both are pretty good. I love the cute kiwi, and the cartoony graphics are just fine. The music is a bit iffier. The in-flight tune is good, but I could do without the menu's soundtrack.
Unfortunately, it doesn't take too long for you to circle the world and reach the space shuttle at the end, and once you max out on upgrades, there's not much left to do. It's still a fun game to play, but the drive to continue peters out. Even then, though, Fly, Kiwi, Fly! is still a good quick-play game and a fun diversion. Just don't expect anything too deep, and you should enjoy helping this formerly flightless bird achieve his lifelong dream!