Paper Boat Race for iPhone: Paper thin racer with little novelty value

Paper Boat Race Rating: ★★½☆☆

If you’ve ever dabbled in origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, then the chances are that you started with something simple like this origami boat. It’s this boat that is the vehicle of choice in this water based racing game.

After picking the color of your paper boat you are launched to the starting line ready for a head to head race against 3 other computer controlled boats. The racing is the same across three different racing modes. Practice mode allows you to take your boat out into the calm waters on your own and practice your sailing skills. This is something you may want to do especially if you are going to use the unique acceleration process of blowing into the iPhone’s microphone!

Paper Boat RaceDon’t worry if you are an iPod Touch owner you can still test drive the blowing method if you plug in an external mic. Having said that it seems to be more of a gimmick than a legitimate control method as the alternate control method of an accelerate and break button on the bottom left and right corners of the screen seems much more responsive and to succeed through all of the cups including the ‘Very Hard Cup’ you are going to want the best controls you can possibly have. Do give it a go through, it’s fun for a while and to show off to your friends and relatives.

Quick race allows you to hone your racing skills against 3 other opponents around any of the 5 tracks while Arcade mode allows you to test yourself against the best Paper Boat racer’s out there in 5 different cup competitions. The cups are raced using 5 different water based tracks that appears to be located in someone’s backyard. The pool track is littered with rubber rings, rubber ducks and other water based obstacles and it’s your task to navigate these items while racing through a bunch of checkpoints.

To accommodate the microphone control option the game is played with the iPhone/iPod Touch in portrait mode which is unusual for a racing game but it actually works, in fact using the accelerometer to steer your boat feels more responsive when holding the iPhone/iPod Touch in the way.

Paper Boat Race_4After a quick practice I launched the Arcade Mode and set out on the ‘Very Easy Cup’ which is very appropriately titled as each of the four races that make up the cup were won easily with none of the competitors even in site at the end. The paper based style of the game looks good and while the backgrounds in the race are pretty minimal the pool race track itself looks nice, although it would be nice to see the water actually affect the movement of the boat. Unfortunately though the animation of your opponent boats is often a little jerky and can be off putting especially during tight races.

It’s unlikely that you will find any problems winning the cups until you get to the Hard and Very Hard levels and even after a couple of goes you’ll have them completed without too much hassle. For once even the integration of OpenFeint doesn’t offer much additional value to the game as the achievements are only based on winning race’s rather than more unusual achievements such as ‘played as all colors’, ‘hit 5 rubber ducks’ or ‘boat sinks’ which would have been nice.

The game is fun for a while but once the novelty of the blowing technique has ended the game is limited in options and once completed has limited reason to be revisited.

The Good

  • Boat blowing novelty factor
  • 5 Cups to complete

The Not So Good

  • Only one environment
  • Opponent animation is often jumpy
  • Limited OpenFeint Integration

Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Released: Mar 19, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0
Size: 26.3 MB
Language: English
Seller: Digital Bridges Limited t/a I-play
Copyright © 2010 MusiGames Studio – D’Accord Music Software SA. All Rights Reserved
Rated 4+

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