Flying Experience by Umoove isn’t really a game in the strictest sense of the word. As the title implies, it’s really more of an “experience” — although it may wind up changing the way games are played on your iOS device all the same.
What gameplay there is is straightforward. You play an unnamed character flying over a desert settlement. A little bit like Crazy Taxi, or a similar title, the clock is ticking down all the time and it’s up to you to collect power-ups which give you more time to explore. The power-ups are glowing magic potions, which hover in mid air, and you collect them by flying into them. That’s it really.
There are no enemies to dispatch, no way of dying other than to run out of time, and nothing more challenging to overcome than the odd wall or low-hanging ceiling. Graphics and sound are both acceptable, although certainly nothing special when you think of some of the seriously impressive titles we’ve seen for iOS devices over the past year.
What makes Umoove’s title worthwhile, then, is its interface. Flying Experience is being advertized as a demo of some seriously impressive facial and eye tracking technology. When you start the game, your iOS device activates its front-facing camera, which then asks you to move your head from left to right to align with several different circles.
The most advanced gaming facial recognition system ever designed with mobile in mind.
Umoove claims this is the most advanced gaming facial recognition system ever designed with mobile in mind — and it’s easy to believe that. Flying Experience can recognise the slightest head movement — and impressively can do this in all kinds of light — and translate this into movement. It takes a while to get used to, since we tend to make more exaggerated movements when gaming than we think, but when you get used to it, it works well.
While Flying Experience only senses overall head movements, the company claims that future games (Umoove has released an SDK for developers) will incorporate eye movement — all without the need for additional hardware,
It’s impressive stuff — and even if it’s not necessarily fun in the sense that a game ought to be — it’s an exciting teaser of what’s to come.
Download it and see.
Game Name: Flying Experience
The Good: It’s weirdly addictive; the long-term possibilities are great.
The Bad: As noted, it’s not really a game. Also doesn’t test how facial recognition would interact with other control methods.
The Verdict: It’s a free download, and could represent the future of iOS games. If you’re a gamer with an eye on the future, check it out!
Get it from: App Store