Paper Flight Super Speed Dash – Paper thin

There's already a sequel for this coming out...

Paper Flight Super Speed Dash has you popping balloons with a paper aeroplane. Forever.

I’m partial to the occasional chillout game. Power Wash Simulator and PC Building Simulator are nice, light games that you can have fun playing to destress or whilst listening to a podcast. They have a satisfyingly simple gameplay loop that’s just enough to keep you interested. I thought Paper Flight Super Speed Dash henceforth known simply as Paper Flight might offer something simple, but I was left bored and disappointed.

Surprisingly for such a simplistic game, there’s even a plot about how ghost balloons have taken over the world and only one plucky paper aeroplane can pop them all and save the day. There’s nothing more to the story than this, but it’s an odd thing to have included at all. 

Regardless, you complete stages set in different environments by piloting your paper aeroplane into small balloons that charge your boost metre, before deploying said boost as you approach a ghost balloon resulting in its destruction. Once you’ve dealt with a requisite amount, some more will spawn, followed by one more wave before you complete the level and move on to a new location to do it all again.

Paper Flight
The motion blur when boosting is so obnoxious.

And that’s the entire game. Over the course of the twelve levels, you will not gain any new abilities, find new skins for your plane, discover different opponents to contend with, or anything else for that matter. Once you’ve played Paper Flight for five minutes you’ve seen all it has to offer. Yes, there are a variety of environments to fly around in, which is nice, but when the gameplay within each environment is exactly the same in hour four as it was in minute one, then there’s little enjoyment to be had in carrying on.

The environments themselves are nice enough to fly around. The initial apartment is quite small, with little nooks and crannies to explore, although you won’t find any secrets or easter eggs in them. The size of this area is just right for you to get around, find the balloons you need, and finish up before you get bored of the mechanics. The second stage though, is a different story. It’s a library hall with a few desks on the ground and a balcony, and it’s considerably larger than the apartment. Flying from one end to the other takes a good couple of minutes, and with the ludicrously short draw distance, you’ll be flying back and forth to find ghost balloons over and over again. This rapidly became tedious as the stages got larger and larger and the balloon target higher and higher. By the time I reached the office stage which had the words “Office Pack” emblazoned in various locations suggesting this was an unaltered asset pack I decided I’d had enough.

Paper Flight isn’t a bad game as such, but it’s something so much worse: boring. There’s nothing to enjoy here beyond that initial thought that this might be a fun, lightweight game. Flying feels slow and uninteresting, the gameplay loop offers no variety other than larger stages, and even the collision detection feels off as you whizz past yet another balloon you’re certain you flew into.

Paper Flight
Office Pack you say?

The visuals could be considered reasonable if you overlook the excessive bloom lighting and motion blur, and some of the environments look quite nice. The museum stage was quite interesting to look at with the wall art all over the venue, although I think there might be some copyright infringement if the number of Angry Birds pieces are anything to go by. The low draw distance is a significant bother though, as those ghost balloons just don’t stand out, necessitating another long flight around the venue to find the next one. The music was lovely on the other hand, with a nice chilled out soundtrack to enjoy before it would be interrupted by a ghost balloon’s loud squeal as you pop it.

It’s very hard to recommend Paper Flight. There’s not much to enjoy and with so many other really good chillout games out there, I don’t really see anyone wanting to play this over any of the alternatives. This needs more variety in gameplay and more enjoyable flight mechanics to begin to offer something more worthwhile, even at the sub £10 price point.

Paper Flight Super Speed Dash is available now on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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