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CREATED JUN.22.2008
UPDATED JUN.22.2008
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TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
GLIDER
TIME TO PLAY WITH PAPIER AIRPLANES AGAIN
Welcome to yet another game spotlight. This time around I've decided to do things a little different than the usual look back at games that may have been forgotten or just deserves a mention because of incredible gameplay, in other words - usually the spotlights are reviews of old games. This time is completely different though as this spotlight is a brand new NES game, yes really!

Back in April a small company/website called RetroZone released a new homebrewn game, which isn't like most of the other low quality homebrew released these days, no this one actually has what it takes to be called a real NES release - the first NES release in well over a decade. The game we're dealing with is called Glider. It's a port of an old Mac game made by John Calhoun back in 1988 and then ported to the NES by RetroZone owner Brian Parker in 2008 with permission from John Calhoun.

In Glider you control a paper airplane which you will have to steer it through no less than 60 rooms of a house. This may sound as a very easy task but flying has to be donw without hitting the floor, furniture or other obstacles such as candles, electric outlets, paper shredders and water leaks.

The only control the player of the aircraft has is the left or right button on the game pad, the rest if left to in game objects such as air vents in every room, these are either placed in the floor or the ceiling of each room. Yet more obstacles awaits you as other vents in the floor or ceiling will take you to rooms you may have cleared already. During the game you'll be able to shoot rubber bands at "enemies" or use a battery boost.

So I guess it's safe to say that there's a great game awaiting those who havn't already bought themselves a copy, Glider is a good mix of arcade and puzzle gaming.

To provide the feeling of buying a new NES game Brian Parker went all the way and had a box, manual and poster made for the release of Glider, along with the nice transparent red NES cartridge. The game even comes shrinkwrapped to add a little extra to the feeling of opening a new NES game like back in the days. There is one little thing that did make me a little sad though and it was the use of an old Nintendo dustcover. Here I am opening a brand new game, everything smells new except for that dirty old dustcover.

I don't know if it's just me but I would be okay with a cardboard dustcover of any color, white would probably do to keep cost down. Maybe the white dustcover could have the RetroZone logo on each side? just a thought though but it would definately look a lot slicker than an old dirty and slightly broken official dustcover. And RetroZone games aren't licensed anyway, so... well i'm sure you get the idea.

Another thing that made me a little sad about the game is that the game was made to be as true to the original as possible, I suppose, that Brian Parker decided to release the game in black and white. The ingame color can be changed to shades of pink, blue, green and purple but I would quite honestly rather have seen the game released in real color.

Maybe I'm just hard to please but I found this screenshot from the Windows version and I really like the colors a lot better, it makes the aircraft a lot easier to see and I'm sure something similar would be possible on the NES.

UPDATE

Brian Parker from RetroZone has kindly informed me that's it not possible to do Glider backgrounds in color."The NES can only have 4 colors in any 16x16 pixel background area, which is one block in smb, but since things like cabinets can overlap those boundaries the entire screen has to be only 4 colors" he said..

Okay so once you've completed the 60 rooms and completed the game one should think that's it's over. Well not really. The Glider cart is actually a flash cart, meaning the game can be updated with new houses, freely available from the RetroZone website. The catch to updating the cart though is that you have to own or have access to a copynes device to be able to update the cart.

So even though I'm not really a fan of Glider, most likely because I have a hard time actually seeing the damn airplane I absolutely love the idea of seeing new NES games of good quality.

If you'd like to add Glider to your library of NES games then head over to the RetroZone website. The game plays on any NES system due to the included Ciclone chip which has multi-region support. Please note though that the game does not run on Yobo NES clones.

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