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Lifeslide Is an Indie Game That’s as Adventurous As You Want It to Be

5/5 paper airplanes

Screenshot from Lifeslide

Some of the types of games I’ve come to like over the years are chill, atmospheric ones with good music, little to no stakes, and beautiful visuals. That’s not to say they aren’t challenging to play, such as with Dreamteck’s Lifeslide, but you easily lose yourself in the game because the soundtrack is addictive and you’re flying through places you wish you could visit in real life.

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Set to release on Steam on August 6th, Lifeslide has you taking control of a paper airplane. Your objective? Fly.

Description:

Lifeslide is an atmospheric paper plane flight adventure through life. Master a unique flight mechanic as you travel through an ever-changing landscape towards your destination. Each stage is a new challenge, and it takes smart choices and split-second decisions to reach further. Learning to fly well is key. No narration, no texts. The story is implicitly told through the environment – this is your journey, and you decide what to make of it.

Features:

  • Experience 28 stages of life in Story mode
  • Customize and replay your favorite moments in Endless mode
  • 6+ paper planes with different styles of play
  • Original score combining electronic, rock, and orchestral elements
  • Full controller support

I got the chance to check out the game and there is so much to love about it. It’s also, fair warning, the perfect example of a game that makes you say, “Where did the time go? I’ve been flying around for HOW long?”

When you start the game’s Story Mode there is nothing that tells you what to do, and honestly, a lot of the game is like that. You’re finally given tips as you encounter things, like the gems you can collect to boost your speed or upgrade your plane, but a lot of this game thrives on context clues and lots of trial and error.

They really nailed the life metaphor there, so much so that I started to feel pretty good about myself when I began to get the hang of the gameplay mechanics. You learn through experience and it’s a nice way to feel accomplished when you pick up speed and manage to safely fly through a hazardous area instead of ramming into a tree.

Please. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve rammed into a tree.

Nighttime stage

The stages are also named after things like Breathing and Understanding, with certain gems that are literally called Knowledge that unlock paths you wouldn’t be able to take without that gem. Those paths almost always have extra benefits, but in some cases, you’d have to strategize and bypass them in favor of paths that had something else you needed in order to progress. You’re on a timer, with yellow gems giving you more time, so even if the extra Knowledge was tempting I had moments where I had to ignore it just so I could survive.

There are three ways you can play the game: keyboard, mouse, and controller based on your personal preference (though I highly recommend playing with a controller if you have one). Even without any prompts to tell you what to do, you instinctively know to maneuver your way forward.

To where?

Who knows. That’s part of the fun.

The music sets the tone for whatever area you’re in. Calmer pieces are used for more peaceful settings with more up-tempo beats playing for more adventurous areas. The level design is creative, ranging from lush treelines with waterfalls, to a stage that is, legitimately, a playground turned into a fantasy land. What works really well is that you can follow whatever path you want, with certain paths more dangerous than others. As I played I found myself being curious about every route, especially when I noticed that taking a risk often led to a reward like those gems I mentioned or wind currents that would make your plane go faster.

Do you want to go faster, is the question, because this is a paper airplane you’re controlling. If you run into an obstacle you lose momentum pretty quickly or just crash altogether. However, since there isn’t a Game Over until you decide to quit, you can keep trying different tactics to get through each part of the game. If I tried a path and found it too difficult, I would try a different one when the game restarted.

Or, if I was feeling extra salty about crashing, I’d retry the same path until I got it right.

Desert stage

Outside of Story Mode, the game offers a Zen Mode and Challenges. Zen Mode is exactly what it sounds like. You’re just flying around and taking in the scenery for as long as you want. The art in this game is gorgeous, so it’s definitely worth playing that mode just so you can look at all the picturesque locations that change the further you progress. Challenges are where you can compete for the highest score on Leaderboards, accumulating points as you fly through a stage.

Lifeslide is the kind of game that changes based on the experience you want out of it. You can decide to be a maverick who barely misses running into the cliffside, or you can follow a tranquil river and avoid the perilous roads ahead. Interestingly enough, even if I was all for “slow and steady wins the race,” I found myself taking more disastrous paths because it feels pretty rad when you speed through them.

You can check out the game on Steam and add it to your Wishlist.

Be sure to check out the Dreamteck website for all your Lifeslide updates.

(Image: Dreamteck)

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Author

Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)

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