My Top Ten: Things That Hover

Why abide by the laws of physics when you can have an awesome floaty thing to look at? Let me know your favourite levitating-lovelies in the comments…


  • Sonic’s Rings – I’m not sure how these stay up or even why they might be valuable to an oddly-hued hedgehog but there they are. Hovering, usually just above head-height and revolving temptingly. I collected every single one of them in the Green Hill Zone and they didn’t even award trophies in those days!
  • WipEout Ships – Who needs wheels to make a great racer? Not the team at WipEout, that’s for sure. This is probably one of PlayStation’s greatest franchises over the course of the brand’s lifetime. The handling and feel of the ships is perfect because they do have the slight lateral movement that you would expect of something that hovers but they never feel “floaty”. They also look stunning in the latest iteration. Keep your cumbersome rubber doughnuts, petrol-heads!
  • WarHawk Energy Cores – The little, hovering, radioactivity symbols that are bathed in an upward glow. There isn’t much more satisfying for me in the realm of online multiplayer than making it back to home base with one, or sometimes more than one, of these levitiating-lovelies.
  • Lots of Islands – They seem to be a video game staple. Floating Islands have appeared in everything from Sonic games to Final Fantasy games. There is even a whole game (which is freeware) dedicated to the concept of islands that levitate.
  • Englebert the Electric Orb – I never knew he had a name until Gasto’s inside info tipped me off. Despite his unfortunate end he was a little blighter. Zapping you painfully and deftly avoiding your bullets. Reminiscent of the training ‘droid from the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars, this little guy didn’t seem to have an off switch either.
  • Health Packs – Seemed to be going completely out of fashion until Bungie went “all 2003” on us and put them back into Halo 3: ODST. Sometimes developers try to work them into the scenery of a level so they don’t look out of place but the more imaginative, the liberated ones, they know that for a health pack to be truly great it has to levitate about six inches above the surface it’s on.
  • Psycho Mantis – Big, floaty, S&M-addicted nutcase. Move on.
  • A Weighted Companion Cube – Featured in Portal, these extremely important cubes don’t actually hover until you pick them up. You will pick them up though because progress to that delicious, sugary cake is impossible without making it through the game levels and they can only be beaten if you listen to what GLaDOS is saying and carry the cube. MMM… cakey!
  • Bits of Rayman – I’m not entirely sure how Rayman works. His feet seem to firmly on the floor but he has no legs. I don’t know what strange force is preventing him from scraping his arse along the footpath but it seems to aslo be active for his hands. His supernatural little mitts float about like haunted boxing gloves. He doesn’t even need a neck! Rayman is a bit scary when you think about it…
  • Miles “Tails” Prower – Alright, in Sonic 2 single player he usually just ran along after you trying to keep up with the speedy blue hedgehog and being mildly irritating. He could fly though. Yeah, Sonic was fast but so what? Throw down a handful of thumb tacks and Sonic was dabbing antiseptic cream on the soles of his little blue feet for the rest of the week. Tails could rise above with his aerodynamically-attuned arse-ornaments. Evolution’s sinister side.