Some games are more established than others, however, and the addictive simplicity of Learn to Fly speaks volumes about developer Light Bringer and their ability to create a launch game that is both instantly accessible for new players, but challenging enough not to have players walking away after just five minutes. The game focuses on a single, dejected penguin that has been surfing the internet only to stumble upon an the accusation that his species is actually flightless. No matter how factually accurate this statement may be, this penguin simply isn’t happy with this and is determined to prove the internet wrong by allowing you to launch him into the distance time and time again.
Learn to Fly plays much like any other distance game. You must launch your penguin off a ramp and into the air with the aim being to reach as great of a distance as you can possible muster with the equipment you have, which is initially nothing at all. As you collect money for your launches based on the distance you have travelled, you are able to afford the purchase of upgrades and additions to your flight. These upgrade and improvements allow you to travel even further, earn more money, and buy even more upgrades for your penguin to ensure that you travel even further next time.
You can choose from three gliders to purchase; their price increases with their quality and their ability to make you fly further. You can also purchase rockets that give you an extra boost to your speed, though only on a temporary basis. Attribute upgrades can also be applied to improve the size of your launch ramp, the level air resistance encountered mid-flight, and also your acceleration. You must control your penguin’s mid-air balance with the left and right arrows on the keyboard, using spacebar to use your rockets if you have purchased them.
Visually, Learn to Fly is quite attractive, with cute illustrations of the Antarctic environment and the penguin himself. The flight screen is also quite detailed, with a speedometer, altimeter, and other quantifying gauges allowing you to keep track of every detail of your launch, allowing you to judge when to enter into a dive with the glider and also when to pull up in order to catch more air. The graphics aren't hugely polished (they get a better make-over in Learn to Fly 2) , but the game has a charm that many other launch games do not.
The attempt at weaving a storyline into the action is commendable since many launch games simply have you shooting people/objects into the distance without reason. The graphics are simple yet visually pleasing, and the upgrades ensure that you won’t be leaving the game behind anytime soon. More upgrades and different levels would have been a nice inclusion, but Learn to Fly is a game that floats in above-average waters in the sea of launch games out there.