Yeah, we weren’t expecting much from FLY’N. It’s by French entertainment studio Ankama, which is based in Roubaix (right on the border of Belgium).
Released in 2012, it’s one of those indie games that got buried under a big pile of other indie games and now seems lost to time. But this is obscure gem is something to be proud of and we recommend it to any puzzle platforming fans.
Just nine individuals developed it from within Ankama. Across 40 levels, there’s a lot to swoon for here in a colourful and charming adventure.
FLY’N: Psychedelic Platforming Excellence
What is FLY’N? Well, it’s a mishmash of platforming, puzzle solving, and just flat out psychedelic lunacy. All with a collectathon sensibility. It reminds us a bit of Ubisoft’s brilliant Rayman Origins (2011), but with more puzzles.
The bright, borderline neon lights and synth soundtrack meld together to create the joyous, and addictive, experience.
It’s a lot of fun, which seems to have been the emphasis here for the developers. The breezy, atmospheric sense of wonderment is relentless, akin to Nintendo’s uplifting video games.
Okay, well… plot! When you start playing, you’ll have a general reaction of “What in the name of bejeezus is this?”, but after 20 minutes or so you’ll be buzzing on a giddy high.
It’s quite the adrenaline rush. But, yeah, plot! Set in the World-Trees of Helycia, a cosmic garbage man named Dyer is causing mischief—he’s stealing the trees’ sap!
The trees go into protective mode and create buds—one of whom is Flyn. It’s up to this chap to save the day, which you do by flying, solving puzzles, and generally larking your way through the gorgeous levels.
For what’s quite a simple, if a bit mental, premise, there’s a lot going on here.
You take control of Flyn and have the power to double jump, float, fly (in certain areas), sing, and have a kind of transmundane fit that changes reality from “subtle” to “innate”. The latter is a fun mechanic used in many other games, such as Nintendo’s A Link to the Past (1992). Once you hit the button, new platforms become visible to you.
Elsewhere, FLY’N moves at a fair old pace, has a welcoming difficult setting (whilst offering a challenge), and becomes quite enthralling.
It’s just damn good fun, plus that soundtrack, and those graphics, make it a dreamy experience to immerse yourself in.
Highly recommended, seeing as it’s cheap, weird as they come, and will take your mind off the wider world for a brief spell. C’est magnifique!
FLY’N’s Woozy Soundtrack
FLY’N boasts a soothing soundtrack that has a dreamlike quality. French composer Guillaume Pervieux was responsible for this work.
There are surreal elements in there, but it’s largely all rather chillout fair. Opplogo is definitely our favourite from the whole thing (and it appears on the excellent level 1-5).
It’s with a sense of sadness we find FLY’N, with everything it has to offer, has become such an obscure indie game. But then it’ll be the same for many other titles we haven’t discovered yet.
But we’re delighted put the time in to get to know this gem. As it’s a little bit special.