Red Bull Flugtag Review

Red Bull Flugtag for the iPhone is based on the real world “sport” of the same name. I say “sport” because it seems to involve building what amounts to a parade float and jumping off a ramp into a lake, being scored for how far you “fly.” They’re less flying machines than they are fun and seem to be powered by alcohol alone. Seems a weird premise for a collectible card game type outing, no?

The game uses different cards to represent the different aircraft you’ll be flying, with you picking 5 different ones to create your hand. Each one has different stats like minimum and maximum difference and flight pattern. So you need to pick the right ones to match each challenge.

The card game aspect it tenuous at best, and sorting through cards in the menus is really the only place where the card mechanic is used. Once you’re in the main game, you control the ships themselves and they fly out over the water. It has absolutely nothing to do with card playing. I guess they went with the card idea to match up with their business model. The game itself is free but only comes with a smattering of craft and locations, the rest are acquired by buying .99 “booster packs” that contain more items and locales.

Red Bull Flugtag Red Bull Flugtag

The gameplay is rather simple, but does offer up a decent amount of fun. At each locale you’ll have to “fly” a certain distance and land in a target out in the water. Your aircraft is attached to a slingshot and to set sail you just grab it and pull it back. The amount you draw it back is how far it’ll fly and this mechanic offers the most skill based aspect of the game. So if you need to fly 100m and your craft can go a max of 200m, then you’ll pull back about halfway for half power. Makes sense but they don’t give you percentages when you launch so you kinda have to go by feel. It works incredibly well and is immensely fun when you nail that perfect shot, especially at long range.

Different ships have different flight paths that also need to be factored in. Some gently glide in for landing and can skip across the water to gain extra distance while others sink like a stone and land hard in the water.. There’s also some steering involved to go around obstacles on some of the further flights, but if you don’t launch right it really doesn’t matter how well you control it.

The graphic style and the design of the ships are really inspired and work fantastically together to set the scene for a lighthearted game. Ships are flying bathtubs, planes with huge balloons tied to them, man-made dragonflies and other crazy contraptions. All of the in game graphics have this paper cut-out look that’s pretty unique and fits the vibe perfectly.

As mentioned above, the base game only offers a few aircraft and events, and it’s really an extended demo to get you to buy the numerous “booster packs” to add on all the content. Even without the boosters installed you still see those events and craft in the menus, they’re just locked away. I had fun with the base game but was through all of it in about an hour, leading me to the boosters.

Those boosters simply do not work. Navigating to the menu and picking the booster to buy works just fine, and so does the charging of your credit card. However after all this you’re just dumped back to the main menu with no new content. Going back into the booster menu shows the booster pack still unpurchased. You can try and redownload it (which doesn’t charge you a second time) but it will not install. Until this gets fixed just know that you should avoid trying to buy anything extra unless you like giving away dollars for nothing in return. The base game is more fun than I expected and being free is definitely worth the time to check it out. But until further notice or a patch do not try and buy the boosters.