Jul 16, 2010

My Paper Plane 2

I reviewed My Paper Plane back in April and was optimistic that it could be made into a great game given the solid base. Well, My Paper Plane 2 made its debut a few days ago at the high price of $3.99. Isn't it funny when $3.99 is a high price for a new game? I guess it's all relative.

Initially, I was really frustrated with this game as it has all of the levels locked with the exception of the first one and getting by the first one required a score of 5,000 or more. I tried and tried and could only muster 1,300. That night they 'updated' and made it much easier to get past the first level (and other levels?). As impressed as I was with the responsiveness, I was surprised to see they lowered it from 5,000 to 300... does that tell you this wasn't tested well to have the required score drop by 94%?? But I'm getting ahead of myself...

My Paper Plane 2 (or MPP2) takes the concept of My Paper Plane, throws it out the window, steps all over it, and decides to become something of a racing game with no timer. In MPP2 you are a paper plane cruising along in a straight course avoiding things like trees, buildings, and more trees. While you fly you are trying to navigate through rings (don't know if that scores extra points or not) and collecting stars (for extra points). Controlling your plane is done by tilting and that's it for the controls. My core problem with this game is that it's boring with a capital B. You see... they took My Paper Plane, which was a pretty neat idea, where you flew around an enclosed course trying to pick up stars... had a limited number of boosts (to fly higher)... and got an extra boost after every star collected and instead of improving the game with intricate levels, power ups, and challenges made it into something ordinary. Left, right, left, right, up, down... is anything ever going to become interesting? Why am I supposed to want to keep playing this game? And it's going to take me half an hour of this repetitive game to accumulate 3,000 points to get to level 3. What's the reward for advancing? As far as I can see it's different scenery... with the same plane, travelling in the same straight path, and avoiding various shaped objects.

The game's graphics match those of the original... I guess they used the same graphics engine and color palette which is fine as the game's visuals have appeal. The sound effects are almost non-existent... a simple whoosh as you take off. And the controls are great... very responsive. It's just this feels more like a demo of a neat game to come than 'the' game. The game plays as if I'm eventually going to have a crack at blowing up the death star, but based on the scenery I'm on Tatooine. Other issues consist of me not being able to really get a feel for my altitude. I will crash into objects and feel like there's nothing I could have done about it versus learning something and improving as a player. I also don't like that I can bank all the way to the left or right and not crash, but the game is hard enough as is with the aforementioned visual challenge.

What makes me shrug in disbelief is the number of 4+ star reviews for this mediocre title. Am I missing something? If I am, then please share the excitement with me. What makes me shrug in disappointment is knowing that these developers are better than this. They could make a game that's fun by using the concept of MPP and doing the aforementioned enhancements and hopefully even more. As is this gets 3/5 stars for a game that's average, boring, and with which you'd be better off with its free predecessor.


  1. I wonder what made them go in such a different direction. Thanks again. I'm honestly surprised I don't see 1,000 or more followers on this site. These are some of the best Android game reviews I've seen anywhere.

  2. I appreciate the kind words. All I can ask is that if you like this blog please spread the word. I do realize that the site transition (so that reviews are searchable) has been slow in coming and that needs to happen asap. I also wish the Android Market did gift cards as I'd be first in line to give away some of those to help promote the site.

  3. Hi, I'm one of the developers who worked on My Paper Plane 2, and first of all, I enjoy reading your blog and thanks for paying attention to us. I'd like to offer a counterpoint to your view however. My Paper Plane appealed to many hard-core players, but seemed boring to most casual audience. From the start our goal was to make a casual arcade game and not a flight sim. Paper Plane 2 hits much closer to our original vision of tight controls and feeling of speed. That's why we feel most people rate it 5 or 4 stars.
    Thanks again, great blog!

  4. Interesting to hear as obviously I feel the opposite and I have a hard time imagining the original being "hard core" and this being "casual". I sincerely hope at some point you come back to the original design and spice it up perhaps as a glider game. In fact, that's one thing I really liked about it... the gliding of the paper plane and then need for power ups to gain altitude. You guys obviously have the talent and know how to do it. Good luck! - Alan