Developer: Walt Disney
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Forget about a theater near you, Disney's Tinker Bell movie takes to new heights with the new iPhone and iPod touch game Fairies Fly. While not for everyone, I can think of quite a few folks who will enjoy this simple-to-play, gorgeous-to-view app.
The graphics in Fairies Fly are exactly what you would expect from a Disney production. A beautiful animated sequence opens the game with the story of Pixie Hollow. It sets the scene and provide a little back story for the game. Of course, once you've seen it two, three or four times, you're ready to be done. Tap the screen to bring up the video controls and skip the short flick to move directly to the game.
In Fairies Fly, the goal is to soar through three levels avoiding obstacles and collecting treasures in order to move on to the next season — spring to summer, summer to fall and so forth. Each level is a slightly different series of obstacles. Each level the graphics change to match the season. It's thoughtfully rendered in great detail.
There's a short lesson on flying located on the home page. And, it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
Truthfully, that's why I loved Fairies Fly. It was simple to pick up and immediately start gliding through the seasons. I finished every level in a single evening.
Of course, now I can still go back and try to beat my own score using the "high-speed fairy" Vidalia. Users can choose a new fairy avatar at the start of each level. There didn't seem to be any differences between the five fairies aside from looks until you pass the final level. Once the game is completed, users unlock access to Vidalia, a new fairy with faster-than-light dashing abilities.
Fairies Fly reaches the top through beauty and simplicity. There aren't any fancy High Score leaderboards and no multi-player features. It's not a gateway to "more" on the Internet. Disney's Fairies Fly is just good, wholesome, fun that parents and children can enjoy together or on their own. It's a one-size fits most kind of game and easily worth the download price for an evening of entertainment.
The only thing that marred the fun was the game's tendency to crash. It was more of an inconvenience than anything because the levels are simple and short. Restarting the iPhone helped for a while, but eventually it happened several more times. This is often a problem with memory-intensive games, and is probably caused by the many lovely graphics in Fairies Fly. Still, I expected better from Disney.