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iPhone  header logo

Paper Racer


For: iPhone   Also on: Android
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

E-rasers

Product: Paper Racer | Developer: Black Coal Studio | Publisher: Black Coal Studio | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
 
Paper Racer iPhone, thumbnail 1
Racing games are en vogue on mobile, maybe because they can now handle high-spec high-speed titles. Nintendo’s classic RC Pro-Am wouldn't be out of place in Apple’s catalogue.

Paper Racer
is an unabashed ode to the late ‘80s NES racers, owing as much to the recent Death Rally update as it does to Micro Machines.

It's a nice walk down memory lane, but there are too few features and too little polish to keep you on the road.

Better on paper

The name Paper Racer pretty much says it all. You choose from a handful of cars, hop on the race track, and try to beat your five competitors around three laps. Placing in the top three gets you a trophy and access to the next track.

The twist, of course, is that everything takes place on grade school paper. The cars look like pencil drawings and obstacles include paper clips and rulers. Make a turn too sharply and eraser burns trail behind you like tyre marks. Speed through some ink and it’ll splash on the race track page.

The controls are simple, with left turn, right turn, gas, and the rarely used brake. There are a few different control options, but steering generally is a little loose. We rarely felt like we were in total control of our car, almost as if it were coasting on an oil slick.

Drawing conclusions

There are two cool aspects to Paper Racer. First, you can literally draw your car. You pull out a clean piece of paper, draw your vehicle, take a picture of it, and Paper Racer will plop it into your game.

It took us five seconds to draw the (very ugly) racer featured in the pictures and five more seconds to get to racing. It had absolutely no impact on the gameplay, but it's a very nice touch.

Second, the 16 tracks are pretty inventive. Shortcuts are bountiful from the very beginning. Pencils that look like roadblocks are actually the gates to hidden passages. Uncharted pathways can be sped through. Exploration is encouraged from very early in the game.

Retest

The originality and innovation make the problems all the more frustrating. There's no multiplayer, which is a serious flaw. It's a game that absolutely screams racing with friends.

And the controls just don’t feel good. We’ve had our hands on dozens of iPhone racers, including those with much more complicated graphics and sound, and Paper Racer still doesn’t respond as well. We often found ourselves running into obstacles or suddenly veering when we just gave the controls a short tap.

As it is, Paper Racer is a solid but flawed ode to the classics. Some tighter controls and a multiplayer update would give it a much better pole position.
 
Paper Racer
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 10 July 2011
Paper Racer is a solid old skool racer, but missing multiplayer and loose controls let it down
 
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