Flight of the Fireflies

App of the Day: Flight of the Fireflies

If you've got a rogue 30 minutes or so to spare and you're itching to fill it with stylish touch-screen whimsy, Flight of the Fireflies is probably worth a quick look. A few years back a game this fleeting, melancholic and insubstantial would probably have been seen as a rather daring proposition. iOS and Android, however, have changed all that, and now it feels right at home. It's just another quirk-'em-up, frankly.

The idea is simple: using only your finger, you guide a collection of glowing fireflies around some dark and fairly pretty nocturnal environments. There are wooden slats, metal gantries, golden streetlamps and forests of slender trees to explore on your journey. As you travel, you're on the lookout for other fireflies: they'll be dim, and you'll probably have to squint to see them, but once you've found them they'll light up and tag along with you. That's about everything covered, really.

Okay, so that's not absolutely everything. Each firefly you collect sounds a musical note when they glow, so the game also works as a playful kind of audio sequencer. You start each level with just a handful of notes, and by the end of it you've turned the resultant noise into something approaching a proper song. It's generally a mournful Arvo Part kind of thing, of course, so if you're hoping to cobble together Pon de Replay then you're going to be disappointed (although by all means have a shot at it).

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