Dreamteck’s Lifeslide is small in scope, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for with breathtaking vistas and a razor-sharp set of mechanics that accomplish that kept me relaxed and interested throughout the game’s runtime.
You fly a paper airplane through an expansive collection of increasingly imaginative landscapes that seamlessly transition from one level to another. It’s simple but effective. Lifeslide doesn’t really seek to provide its player with some nearly insurmountable challenge, but rather a slow but steady climb that progresses as the player becomes more familiar with the controls.
The opening levels are mostly flat planes with clear alleys designed to help you maintain your plane’s momentum with slopes, air currents, and power-ups. As the game progresses, what were once simple hallways turn into winding jungles of interlocking paths that asks the player to deftly slide from one path to another as they fight with gravity and time.
Lifeslide is beautiful. It carries a low-poly art style that makes everything feel like a meticulously crafted paper mache model. The colors are solid and vibrant, but the stages all have this visible edge, making it feel as if my plane was flying from one side of a table to the other.
However, the score isn’t too memorable; a lot of the tracks feel generically inspirational, like something that would be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. It isn’t too much to detract from the overall experience because it’s easily ignorable.
That focused experience is really all Lifeslide has – and the main game is rather short, at about two hours long. The alternate, “Zen Mode,” sews together these backdrops in a random order, but there isn’t much else to be gained from playing it other than the simple satisfaction of flying a little paper airplane.
It feels worth noting that Lifeslide has a mobile port, and the game gains a lot from that platform due to its bite-sized levels and short runtime. Once you upgrade your vehicle and unlock all the planes, there isn’t much to sink your teeth into.
There is Zen mode, which essentially takes the existing levels and rearranges them at random. Still, its apparent purpose, as its name implies, is to provide the player with a relaxing experience. What little penalty for failure existed in the main game is completely removed – so beyond that, it’s just whatever times you’d want to beat yourself.
It’s hard to say Lifeslide does anything wrong with its execution, at no point did I grow tired or frustrated with the game. It ends just as it risks overstaying its welcome – and the mechanics it does introduce over that runtime fit into the main loop neatly. Still, even those do little to elaborate beyond those initial mechanics in a way that feels intentional.
With a gameplay loop that harkens back to an era of lunchtime flash games, Lifeslide will genuinely please people who are looking for a new relaxing experience.
[A copy of Lifeslide was provided for this review]