This Is A Bird Call: Learning To Fly

God, we're going for death for Foo Fighters/Bird puns here. My Heron? Er... I give up.

I wanted to get the final part of the Magnetic Family Board Game obsession out the way today, but things have been cheerfully broken. So instead, let’s fill in time with a little more webgame timewastery. When forwarding this to me, Simon Parkin said that I had to give it to day 5, after which, there’s no turning back. He’s entirely right. Again. It’s called Learning to Fly and it’s the story of a penguin, offended by a wikipedia page, who tries to prove he can fly. Maybe if he gets a glider. And attaches a rocket. And… well, it’s alternates between trying to maximise your flying while having the constant motivation of knowing whether you win or fail, you’re getting cash towards the next delivery from the ACME school of penguin-flight. Good fun.


  1. Ian says:

    Played this last week. It was good but I couldn’t manage to get the last goal or two.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    The last goal is fucking me up. I can get to about 5500.


  3. Serondal says:

    I played this until I got all the upgrades ect. I didn’t even know there were goals involved :P

  4. Reggie says:

    Loving the Foo Fighters references, Kieron. I never had you pegged as a fan.

  5. Mr Chug says:

    The result when you do is something of an anticlimax. Played this one to death despite that, think the quickest I managed was 22 days.

  6. SmallGods says:

    *SPOILERS!!! (I guess…)*

    The trick Mr Gillon, is to drop straight down to about 2-3 meters above the sea, aim ever so slightly upwards (3/4degree…things…), and then just boost only when your speed drops, in very short bursts – should be easily possible to keep your speed over 100mph without any effort at all.

    That should see you sail over the magic 6000..


  7. B. Marley says:

    i played it 4 times, and i beat it in 27 days… twice
    perhaps i shall play it again?

  8. Mihai says:

    Beat it in 31 days. Really nice take on the “hit the penguin” games.

  9. Kieron Gillen says:

    SmallGods: Yeah, that’s what I figured. Wasn’t persisting with it enough as I have to go out :)

    Reggie: Loved the first 2 albums, then kind of drifted away. In a “I’ve had enough of them” way rather than a fall of quality. Always glad to see ’em around.


  10. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    For the 6000ft target I just aimed the glider slightly nose up to gain altitude then kept boosting just shy of the red line, after the fuel ran out I started trading altitude for speed and finished up with a couple of skims.

    Not a bad time waster, polished it off in about 24 days.

  11. Sam says:

    What I did for the 6000 was to start off using about half my rocket fuel to gain height and speed at about a 45 degree angle upwards. Then I angled just downward to maintain speed and used the rest of my fuel accelerating to ~200. One bounce, and I just barely got it.

  12. LeFishy says:

    I did it! The ending is… I got it in 42 days because I didn’t really pay attention to the redzone thing.

    Reminds me to remind you about the AaaaaAAaaaAAAA pre-order and super pre-order demo thingy. It is out.

  13. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    And always pay attention to your Wind Resistance stat. Don’t boost too hard or else you’ll be wasting fuel while the resistance picks up and you won’t be gaining enough extra speed for it to be worth it.

    This and fidgeting with flight angles to maximize distance and minimize resistance. That’s what the endgame’s all about.

  14. Gabanski83 says:

    Beat it in 32 days.

    2% or 3% seems to be a good resistance point.

  15. Nathan says:

    24 days… slow day at work. I just use half the rocket to get as much height as I can, then use it later to get more height, and I try and keep my air resistance at 0%, and you should be sweet. The most important boosts are the height and your glider.

    And watch out for walls.

  16. Fat says:

    Yeah, the resistance is what you want to look out for when going for the 6000 feet achievement… not that there’s much reward for it. :(

    Was hoping for a NASA shuttle or something to strap to my back.

    Took me 31 days. Coulda shaved many days off it but i was stubborn and was like ”IM SAVING UP POINT FOR [X] EVEN THOUGH I CAN AFFORD CHEAPER THINGS”. I’m sure skipping on the cheapies didn’t do my record any good.

  17. Ging says:

    I played this on kongregate a couple of weeks back – I got past the 6000 point by getting fairly high off the launch, then sitting at about 2% and tapping the boost when my speed dropped beneath about 120.

  18. mysterylobster says:

    I wish you could go beyond 6000. I was still cruising when I reached the end.

    The game was good, but I had more fun with the kinda similar Hedgehog Launch.

  19. B. Marley says:

    wow… i tried again, and guess what i got:

    27 days! again!

    is it possible to get anything else?

  20. sbs says:

    Sure you can Bob. Can I call you Bob? I got 48.

  21. aeiowu says:

    I did it…

  22. Sam says:

    Just managed 21 days on my second try (had 31 on the first). I really should be getting back to work now.

    I could *maybe* shave a day off of that since I screwed up one of my flights early somewhat, but I will be seriously impressed if someone manages under 20.

  23. Jeremy says:

    I just rocketed myself kinda uppish until I reached dark blue space, then sort of just up n downed it until I hit 6k. I’m not a talented pilot apparently :)

  24. Hobbes says:

    ‘For All the Crows’
    ‘This is a Caw’
    ‘Terns like these’
    ‘Storked Actors’
    ‘Monkey Finch’

    Thanks, I’m here all week, try the fish.

  25. Carra says:

    This was a pleasant 30 minutes :)

  26. B. Marley says:

    just tried hedgehog launch, i find they’re about the same

    btw, i got it in 11 days in hedgehog launch second time

  27. AlexW says:

    I assumed that “Reach 6000 feets”, since there was already a distance record, meant “Try to reach orbit”. This I attempted for a couple of days before giving up and doing the (pitifully easy) right thing.

  28. Noc says:

    Re: the spoilery, spoilery end:

    I DO kind of wish that instead of being a cutscene, they actually had the wall on the stage. So you get an “ah, crap!” moment before smashing into it, instead of the “oh, I guess that’s funny” cutscene.

    Put me in the mind of Kiwi!, though, which is a good thing.

  29. Skolem says:

    I managed 22 days first try. My tactic was just boost and climb up high, also getting your speed up, until the boost runs out in one big hit, and then just glide as effeciently as possible the rest.

    I enjoyed it.

  30. Kua says:

    50 days ^^

  31. zergl says:

    I thought, “WTF, RPS posted a dupe?” until I realized that for once I played an awesome flashgame before the RPS Hivemind found it. :D

    Wasted an afternoon on it a few weeks ago and I have to agree with Noc, the ending could’ve been executed differently.

    It was kind of a meh moment for me. =/

  32. Dave says:

    I prefer Hedgehog Launch myself, but this one was fun.

  33. The_B says:

    Took me 40 days. Which is probably quite poor, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

    Also – I absolutely loved seeing the Foo’s live at V Festival a couple of years ago, they’re one of my favourite bands, and LTF is one of my favourite songs.

  34. Scott says:

    You can do the skimming the surface bit, or you can be a man and use all your fuel at the beginning and get up to about 200+ feet, then coast at 0-5% resistance, got me to about 7k+. I made it to 5896 on the first level with that ^_^

  35. Gnarl says:

    That was great until the end, when it became all sad and depressing.

  36. The_B says:

    That was great until the end, when it became all sad and depressing.


  37. Warduke says:

    29 Days and 7434 as my best distance after I beat it..

  38. Warduke says:

    You can keep playing after you beat it btw…

  39. Guhndahb says:

    Okay that was just such a charming little premise that I couldn’t resist trying to help the little guy even though flash games usually don’t do anything for me. It took me 31 days but I didn’t read any recommendations so I guess I’m kinda middle-of-the-road. Fun little diversion though.

  40. Wisq says:

    27 days here too. Fun game.

  41. Simon Parkin says:


    Monkey Wren, surely?

  42. mysterylobster says:

    Yeah, I didn’t know I could go back after winning and get past 6000. My best score is $11,500, can anyone get $12,000?

  43. Brulleks says:


    Yeah, I didn’t like the end either. Was a bit of an unnecessary deflation after the whole joyful tone of the game.

  44. Davee says:

    I did it in 26 days on my first try I belive. Good game with a sad ending :'(

  45. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Hobbes:

    Hey, Johnny Lark!
    Ain’t Tit the Life
    Walking After Emu
    Ballad of the Beaconsfield Mynas
    My Whip-poor-will Brain

  46. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    24 days. It’s always sad when you earn a lot of money and you have nothing to spend it on.

  47. Hypocee says:

    I always just spent all my fuel straight up – every foot of altitude is multiplied by your glideslope while horizontal airspeed bleeds from air resistance, so that seems optimal to me whatever the optimal glideslope happens to be. Got past 6000 on my first try, but I’d fully upgraded due to some trouble getting speed goals. I wish the skipping was more significant, it never seemed worthwhile to me.

  48. joe says:

    Finished it completely, but IMO Hedgehog Launch was funner.

  49. Pace says:

    18 Days. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that accomplishment, or perhaps worried at the time I put in to learning to fly a penguin.

  50. Oliver says:

    I must be playing a different game or something… I’m giving up after 100 days. My best distance seemed to asymptotically approach 2200 feet. No matter what I did (tried every trick from this thread), flying any farther seemed utterly impossible. I suck. :(