Learn 2 Fly: The Emperor Strikes Back
Summer is often a season of sequels, a season of unimaginative rehashings of proven hits, hoping that the sweaty populace will be too befuddled to notice that the movie or game they're consuming is exactly the same as its predecessor only with all the charm and surprise sucked out. That's why Learn 2 Fly is as refreshing as a blast of south pole air. It's been more than a year since the original Learn to Fly, where audiences were charmed by the plucky penguin seeking to launch himself out of the "non-flying" category in Kiwipedia. It was a stand-out in its genre despite being a pretty simple game.
It's been a year since then, but developer Light Bringer has clearly not been wasting that time. This game is better than the original in every possible way. More gameplay modes. More interesting upgrades. More customization. More secrets, tricks, challenges, and achievements. More replay value. Even the cut scenes are better, and if you remember the cut scenes from the original that's an impressive achievement indeed. The penguin has awoken from his coma and is still in sure of internet vindication of his reputation. A fool's errand, yes, but a funny one. At least this time he has the foresight to use a penguin shaped sack as his test dummy.
There are three gameplay modes: story, classic, and arcade. Story mode introduces the new twist of obstacles, such as the iceberg that was your downfall in the first game, that must be destroyed in order to triumph. Classic mode is the same general idea as the first game, that is, fly to the right as far as you can. Arcade mode provides three different set budgets and the idea is to get as great a score as you can with only that amount of money and no more.
You can choose between keyboard controls ([right] and [left] arrow keys and [spacebar] to control boosts) or mouse (move the cursor to control angle, click for boosts). Between launches, you can spend your money on a better launch pad, gliders, balloons, rockets, and other things to go faster, higher, and farther. You can also earn bonus points for completing certain challenges, which you can use in the bonus shop to buy what are essentially built-in cheats. You can lower gravity, reduce drag, even rig the calendar in your favor. The cool thing is that these bonus shop items carry over between games, so you can restart the game with them already in place.
Analysis: In order to maintain my disinterested reviewer cred, I ought to say something negative about the game somewhere, so I'll get that out of the way. Sometimes the link in the lower right hand corner in the shop to the mobile game or the t-shirt store partially obscures the page turning button, which is mildly irritating.
That's about as harsh as I can get. Seriously, this game is awesome. One of the main problems with the launch genre is that you hit that plateau where you're just grinding to save up for the next upgrade in the linear sequence. Learn 2 Fly's upgrades branch in different directions, so you can use those lulls to try different combinations to see which one fits your individual playing style. Do you prefer to use sheer impact to destroy obstacles, or would you rather explode them? Do you want to go fast and furious, or slow and steady? And there's a ton of challenges and medals to try for as well, from the predictable speed and distance milestones, to attempting to go backwards. Not to mention the eight secrets the game claims to harbor.
When you've already released one smash hit, it must be tempting to just rush out another sequel as soon as possible in order to keep a hold on the fickle attention spans of internet gamers. It's great to see a developer who's clearly so willing to put in the time, and also to listen to his fans (the diving challenges are a direct result of user response to the first game, for example). I hope it won't take another year to get the next game in this series, but there's almost enough goodies in this one to keep you occupied until then even if it does.
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Learn 2 Fly: Secrets, upgrades and bonus shop
Controls: (in case you forget em')
Use A and D. For those who played the first game. Space to use the boost.
Use your mouse. Click to use the boost.
8 Secret Medals:
These medals have names which are cryptive. VERY cryptive.
1: Give an inch...
Try random clicking...
Click your money, get a dollar.
2: We'll take a yard
This is related to 1.
Click your money again. (Only works 2 times)
3: The Brick
It's located in the last page of the glider catalog.
Click the one just below the Whirlybird.
4: Revenge of The Brick
It's not the kite.
Use the brick and destroy an obstacle.
5: It's ROB!
Lose fuel from above.
Lose fuel at high altitude, and sometimes it goes... ROB confirmed. Sending fuel...
Land when you have no fuel...
Land, when you have no fuel, on your feet. Sometimes the god penguin will command you to RISE!
7: The Easy Way.
Finish the game. Or...
Click the penguin's nose on the title screen.
Easy 100 BP. Click something in the medal screen.
Click this medal.
Other Medals that might trouble you:
Alternate Ending Medal.
Go over the wall.
If you can think of any more... Tell me.
3 main upgrades, Ramp Length, Ramp Height, and Boost Fuel.
Note: You can save money by skipping levels.
This is how long the ramp is. More of this, more SPEED!
10, 40, 150, 250, 500, 800, 1300, 2500, 5000, 8500
This is how high the ramp is above sea level. More of this gets you better distances.
20, 50, 200, 350, 650, 1000, 2000, 3500, 6000, 10000
The amount of fuel before you run out. Absolutely useless without Boost.
50, 100, 250, 500, 850, 1250, 2000, 3500, 6000, 10000
2 Kinds: Regular and Active.
This increases Sliding speed.
25. 5 Speed, 0 Take Off.
"According to our reasearch, rough edges and extra nails should increase speed while reducing friction!"
The Plank Mark II:
125. 6 Speed, 0 Take Off.
"Though it cannot be explained, the smoothed edges seem to increase performance. We also removed the nails..."
Good Ol' Sled:
750. 7 Speed, 0 Take Off.
"Available in natural finish, wood, brown and clear coating."
2500. 9 Speed, 0 Take Off.
"The ultimate solution when looking for speed, acceleration, control and coolnedd factor."
10000. 10 Speed, 0 Take Off.
"This is your regular bobsleigh... on steroids.
Alright, alright, it's just a paint job and a nice decal."
100. 3 1/2 Speed, 1/2 Take Off.
"Picture a spring on The Plank resulted in a particular takeoff. The test subject crashed violently, but we made some changes since then..."
500. 4 Speed, 1 Take Off.
"Concept from the Spring Box was improved to allow further comfort and vertical launch."
2500. 5 Speed, 3 Take Off.
"Very little is known on the risk of using high explosive to acheive flight, but laying face-down on a bed of exploding C4 can't be all that bad!
Omega Coil (Omega):
15000. 5 Speed, 10 Take Off.
"Scientist have yet to figure out why spray painting a coil gold makes it incredibly powerful."
3 Kinds: Regular, Passive and Propelled.
Like in the first game.
15. 1/2 Flight, 1/2 Top Speed.
"Want the fun of hang-gliding without the expenses associated with it? Gliders are the most overrated pieces of equipment anyway..."
200. 1 Flight, 1 1/2 Top Speed.
"Ebay said it was "Brand New"
800. 1 1/2 Flight, 2 1/2 Top Speed.
"Entry-level hang glider with good flight capability, control and reliability"
5000. 2 Flight, 6 Top Speed.
"Years of research in nano technology were required for this amazing product to reach this particular shade of green. Beautiful..."
1500. 1 1/2 Flight, 4 Top Speed.
"For all aviation enthusiasts who don't mind putting their life at stake if it means flying!"
7500. 2 Flight, 7 1/2 Top Speed.
"Mini-airplane offering amongst the best top-speed on the market, though they offer less control than hang-gliders"
35000. 6 Flight, 10 Top Speed.
"Originally designed to reach outer space, it's now being sold because its previous owner completely forgot about space suits...
Active only when falling.
25. 2 Flight, 1/2 Top Speed.
"If you seriously hope to fly by strapping a balloon to your back... this item is a must!"
125. 2 Flight, 1 Top Speed.
"Because part of flying is simply "not falling""
500. 2 1/2 Flight, 1 Top Speed.
"Welcome to the world of passive flight. It's not about getting air, it's about stopping the fall."
3500. 3 Flight, 2 1/2 Top Speed.
"Using the Zeppelin assures you a long and easy flight. Its shape allows it to reach speed much higher than other passive devices."
Provide Rise for a short time.
350. 4 Flight, 1 Top Speed.
"When budget is a concern and you REALLY want the helicopter style, try out the NEW Old Fan!"
2250. 6 Flight, 2 1/2 Top Speed.
"Part of a DIY project, Propel-it allows you to install a propeller on just about anything you can think of. Neverending possibilities!
5500. 8 Flight, 5 Top Speed.
"The smallest helicopter in the world. Model 511 was abandoned after several injuries, coma and death of users. 512 is fixed they say..."
The Chopper: (Omega)
40000. 10 Flight, 7 Top Speed.
"GET TO THE CHOPPA !!!11!1!one!"
0. 0 Flight, 1 Top Speed.
"Bad aerodynamics, unecessary weight, square... But seriously, when you're THIS cool, you don't bother for details."
3 Kinds: Toggled, 1-shots and 4-shots.
Releases when activated, when not, it's off.
100. 1 Thrust.
"Somewhere between a pocket-fan and a propeller is the propuldor. Cheap and easy to install, it offers very little thrust."
250. 2 Thrust.
"Sure, KNO3 rocket makes it all sound more powerful and high tech... but WAY less tasty!
2000. 3 Thrust.
"The valveless construction and simple design brings this jet engine to be sold at a price affordable enough for the enthusiasts to use!"
10000. 5 Thrust.
"The most powerful and efficient jet engine currently available, the THOR suffers from poor preformance at speeds lower than 50 mph."
Omega Drive (Omega):
25000. 7 Thrust.
"If you've never seen a penguin reaching mach 2, here's your chance."
Start and it will go on until it's empty.
35. 1/2 Thrust.
"Pulling the string attached to the balloon tip releases a one time thrust of incredible power! (Whether incredibly strong or weak isn't specified)
150. 1 1/2 Thrust.
"Operating on the same principles as the "Air Balloon", the canned air offers increased thrust at a reasonable price!"
800. 3 1/2 Thrust.
"Propulsion, looks a big colored BOOM... but these are disarmed..."
9500. 7 Thrust.
"Nothing beats the feeling of being strapped to a flying missile! We guarantee 99.9% of our missiles to be safely diarmed!"
Balloon Mk. II:
25000. 10 Thrust.
"Creaters of The Air Balloon knew their design was ahead of its time. Using ALIEN technology they wer able to reach their initial view of this propulsion system.
4 small bursts.
175. 1 Thrust.
"Good things come in small packages they say! These will offer you 4 small boost shots per flight!"
1250. 2 1/2 Thrust.
"Usually seen on military planes, these boosters offer 4 short but powerful shots."
7500. 4 Thrust.
"Often seen on space shuttles, these 4 booster engines offer uncomparable thrust in their category!"
25000. 8 1/2 Thrust.
"Often seen on space shuttles, these 4 booster engines offer uncomparable thrust in their category!"
2 Kinds: Regular and Explosives.
Adds weight to RAM obstacles.
25. 1/2 Power.
"Heavier than snow, it is very cheap and will increase impact force."
175. 1 1/2 Power.
"Further increasing weight and impact force, iron pellets are a very popular choice amongst iceberg haters."
1000. 4 Power.
"Forget bags filled with anything, this lead-core/cast-iron envelope is sure to pack a puch against those frozen freaks"
10000. 8 1/2 Power.
"Twice the density of lead (and MANY times its price...) Osmium is the ultimate reusable solution."
Dark Matter: (Omega)
25000. 10 Power.
"Very little is known about dark matter, but penguins have been using it for years to crush obstacles that stood in their way."
"Explodes when you hit an obstacle. (Magically respawns every run, value for money!)"
200. 1/2 Power.
"A single stick of these is enough to blow that fake penguin of yours off the planet! ...Oh, you're after the icebergs... that'll work too..."
1500. 1 Power.
"A simple name, a big reputation, C4 has been there for quite some time and what can we say... it gets the job done!
10000. 2 1/2 Power.
"Now with reduced radiation fallout for all to enjoy this amazing firework show with some friends!"
Use your hard-earned BP and get some awesome things!
"Would you like to have more days in a month? This calendar starts on day zero! Now, you'll complete everything one day quicker! ...In theory anyway."
"Forget about that misprinted calendar you got there, I got this little beauty here, starts a -1! Just imagine how much you'll do with 2 extra days!"
"Alright, my rarest item, super misprinted calendar starts at -2! Nobody will buy this junk, so i'll make you a deal. Come on, that's 3 days that don't even count! (In your head, at least!)"
"Nobody gets rich by earning their money. The real way to make the big bucks is knowing how to make more from what you got. 5% more cash on every run, what do you say?"
"You look like you're ready for "Volume 2. Making money out of the extra money you already make with the first book". 10% more, everytime... think about it!"
"Best of the bunch, "Volume 3: Making 15 more money from your flight attemps". Why am I selling this instead of using it myself you say? You talk too much kid... You want the book or not?"
"Genuine Pheonix feather. This will reduce the speed loss when flying 10%! Whoops... I'll just remove this made in China sticker... Doesn't belong to this item, Obviously!"
"That feather you go there just comes around the butt of a Pheonix. Take this one, its from the wings I think. I give you a discount, you get rid of the Pheonix butt stink, and you reduce drag by 20%, how's that!
"This item is on fire dude! If that's not enought to convince you into buying it at any cost, I don't know what will! Oh, you'll also get 30% less speed loss from air friction."
"Boost efficiency booster, it's like a turbo, but it works on engines, rockets, thrusters, heck it'll work on air balloons! 5% increase in power, and you can't beat the price!"
"5% is good and all... But real manly penguins won't settle for just that. 10% is what you'll get from this baby. More power means better results, better monet, and definitely gets the women's attention... Trust me."
"It's a nice booster you got there, but you know what's better than a kick-ass turbo? 2 kick-ass turbos! Hey, it's okay if you're not enough of a penguin to handle 15% more power! I'll just sell it to a better customer, that's all.
"So I heard you're on a quest for revenge against icebergs? Make you a deal, you give me those bonus points and I'll buy a hammer, let ot run on idle all day long. That'll make these icebergs 15% weaker if i'm correct."
"Global warming takes money and gas, you know? Listen, for some more points, I'm geating a second car and making sure it has leaking gaskets, burning some oil and all that... 30% weaker icebergs I'd say..."
"Final offer, I start a "Kill the planet" ad campaign, everyone contributes and the ice fellows are sure to melt, that'll make then 45% weaker for sure.
"Flying in the redzone can really reduce your flying speed, that's why the fellows at Supersprays developed the "Air Glide I", they claim a 10% reduction of the drag effect associated with redzones."
"Supersprays just came up with a better product for dealing with redzones. "Air Glide II" is the name! You should fell 20% less drag when going so fast."
"I might've sorta lied to you... There's this stuff, "Air Glide III" already on the market, 30% redzone drag reduction. Forget about the crap I sold you earlier, this is the real deal."
""Obey gravity, it's the law" Forget about this bullshit! With this item, You won't feel gravity anymore! Well... you won't fell 3.3% of gravity actually, but hey, it's still worth it!"
"You see these two blue orbs next to the big one? Well I don't know what they do, but they sure make this item look better than the one you bought! Says here you'll get 6.6% gravity reduction, so it really is better than yours!"
"Silver and blue is good, but black and green, now we're talking gravity thing! And look at the price, un-believable! Feel 10% less gravity! I can't believe I'm selling such a good looking item, but you're a good customer..."
"Rockets, propellers, boosters... Ever felt like having a little extra fuel with those? 5% increase in fuel capcity for boost units and 10% for propelled gliders."
"What, still want more fuel? Here, I kind of "borrowed" this one froma friend's car just now. Hold 10% more fuel than stock rocket tank, 20% more than stock propelled gliders."
"Still want more!?! Ever heard of fuel efficient driving? Anyway, got this really big gas tank right here, don't ask how i got it... 15% more boosts fuel and 30% more propelled glider fuel, that's the most you'll get."
"Information can be extremely valuable. With this thing here, you'll be able to see how far you traveled! Information has a price, though..."
"Sure, you can use your eyes as your only flight instrument, but knowing how much resistance you get can prove very useful."
"Redzone... Losing speed becaue you're going too fast can be a problem, so knowing exactly when to stop accelerating will help!"
"If for some reason you feel like the developer did a bad job at setting the angle of the ramp, here's your chance to adjust it to suit your needs."
"The Omega catalog... They say it was written by the aztecs, it was found next to a printing press not far from here. One extra upgrade in every possible aspect will be available in the shop once you buy this thing!"
"Behold. The VHS! Generations witnessed its incredible power (until those freaking dvds and blu-crap came out), and now, you too can watch all those cutscenes again if you want!"
Basic, Rock, Surf, Funk, Techno, Hip-hop, Smooth and Old.
Posted by: CJ | June 18, 2011 4:32 AM