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Surface: The Soaring City Review

Race to save your brother in Surface: The Soaring City. Being a world traveler, you don’t get to see your little brother, Jeremy, as much as you’d like. But, when he sends you a letter inviting you to the airshow for the reveal of his "greatest achievement," you know you have to be there. The happy reunion takes a turn for the worst, however, when Jeremy is kidnapped. Now you must discover who’s behind this and what they’ve done with your little brother. Prepare yourself for an adventure unlike any other, because with an inventor like Jeremy for a brother, you've learned to expect the unexpected. 

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by on 01-25-2013     

I’m not normally one who enjoys stories involving flying people. It’s just kinda cheesy and way beyond believable for me. So when I found Surface: The Soaring City, I was dubious at best. But the artistry looked amazing, and I was willing to suspend my disbelief, at least for a little while.

Title Screen

Look, it’s just not in my nature to see something like a man with wings and not comment on the impossibility of those wings carrying that anatomy, so buckle in for a little rant (we’re gonna get it out of the way at the beginning): Assuming the procedure used to…graft?...the wings also hollowed out his bones (like a bird's) his musculature is still all wrong.

Unless the winged individual is in the circus or does parkour or something, no way his abs are going to be able to hold him in line with the wings for flight. (That's why actors have such a hard time when stuck in a wire harness for the first time. That nonsense takes muscle control.) So basically he’d be dangling from the wings like that Looney Tunes vulture. Not quite as attractive.

Mechanical wings with a reinforced body harness? Maybe. Angel wings? I don’t think so. (Although I did swoon at the image below. It’s so beautiful! Unrealistic - look at his body angle and imagine having to make your body tilt that way while someone is holding you off the ground by your shoulders - but beautiful!)

Wing Man

PUTTING THAT ASIDE. I loved this game. Adored it. I feel like Surface: The Soaring City was made with me in mind, it was so jampacked with my favorite things. There was a GREAT sibling dynamic (I love the big sibling looking out for little sibling thing, which is why I was such a nerd for Numb3rs while it was on TV. I love me some brotherly bonding!).

I loved the voice acting, and of course the whole thing just LOOKS amazing. Honestly, the whole method-of-flying thing was my biggest peeve, and it was insignificant compared to how much I loved everything else (I loved them before I met them; you hate them compared to how much I love them!). I mean, look at this place. It has tiny floating islands! How can you say no to that??

Castel in the Sky

The amount of world you have to deal with is also juuuuust right for me. Even though the map allows you to see where you’ve been and where you’re going, you pretty much have to finish out your little area before you move on. Which means I felt totally in control and capable the entire time.

I gained a lot of confidence knowing I wasn’t going to be able to wander 10 screens away without picking up all the pertinent items. And let me tell you, when you’re a spaz, you need all the confidence you can get. (You’ll also notice you can watch any cut scene you’ve previously watch from the map area. Pretty sweet, right?)


Now, I’m not normally a huge fan of hidden object areas, but I was pleasantly surprised by the areas in Surface: The Soaring City. While they were your typical find-the-list-of-junk sort, there was an interesting twist: In the hidden object areas you still have access to your inventory, and sometimes you have to take items out of there to use in the areas.

For example in the very first hidden object area, you need to put a rose in the vase, and it took me a while but I finally figured out the rose I needed was in my inventory. I liked that twist because it made me feel as though the hidden object areas were more a part of the game as a whole and less mindless I Spy time filler. (Plus, they were awfully pretty, look at that cute little pinwheel.)

Hidden Object Area

At this point, it may seem like fawning, but I was even impressed by the puzzles.

The whole premise of the game is that you’re visiting your super science-y brother, right? So imagine how delighted I was when I found the puzzle below while investigating his house. The point of it is to put the objects at the correct altitudes in reference to one another. It’s simple, but so cute, and I loved it.


I could seriously wax on for a while about all the little things I loved about Surface: The Soaring City. I think the best thing to say, though, is that I just had a really great time playing.

I was interested in the plot, loved the characters, and was excited to explore each new area. Nothing’s perfect (The music was nice, but I hate it when something dramatic happens and then the dramatic music carries on past the moment and continues for a while. It’s not dramatic any more, cut it out) but man, Surface: The Soaring City came pretty close. If you’re looking for a fun time, I can’t recommend it enough.

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