Let me just open by saying that Paper Wings, produced by Fil Games, is great fun and the perfect time waster. If that’s all you’re looking for in a game then I say go and download it right now as it fills this niche very well. Paper Wings is available to download, for free, from the Google Play Store.
The game is simple; you control a bird character by holding the left or right side of the screen to fly around, building momentum or slowing down to catch the coins. The physics engine driving this game makes you really think about how to navigate the game space. The aim of the game is to gather as many of the falling coins as possible. Sounds too basic and short lived right? Wrong. What gives this game a great variety and continued value is the four different game modes. Classic is the standard game setting. Yellow coins drop from the top of the screen towards the bottom and you have to try your best to collect them before they disappear into the ocean below. In timed mode, you have 1 minute to collect as many coins as you can. My record so far is 70.
Two other modes, Hazard and Calm, are, in my opinion, the most enjoyable. Hazard mode is the opposite of Classic and Timed, where rather than gathering coins, they have to be avoided at all costs unless you want to see your feathered friend swiftly blown to pieces. Black coins can be diffused if touched within the time limit, displayed as a countdown on the coin. Calm mode is as relaxing as it sounds and is made all the better by the quality of the controls and the responsiveness of the app to your commands. You have free reign to swoop and fly without the stress of having to collect coins or dodge bombs. Doing a loop and catching your Santa hat (presumably a graphical hot fix for Christmas) is particularly satisfying.
Graphically, the game is beautiful. The origami style is further enhanced by moving clouds, shooting stars and the ebbing ocean below – These moving graphics really add quality and visual interaction to what would otherwise be a very static graphical interface. The lighting is mellow and the sound effects are just enough to be noticeable but not intrusive. What the game does lack however is music which if present would add another layer to the games lustre and immersiveness. The game plays well, without lag, albeit on the Google Pixel, and updates don’t delete records; like with Dig Station.
As usual there are the incentives such as liking on Facebook, watching ads or completing objectives to gain currency. This currency is used to buy new characters which is important as they have different abilities. As an example, the Falcon has an accelerated dive. This is useful when having to dart to the other side of the map to collect a coin but is super annoying when you fly too quickly into an explosive coin on hazard mode. I do really like the use of different abilities for each bird species. The devs have really thought about it, and it adds so much to the game.
What the devs also need congratulations for is that they have squeezed as much added value from the app as their budgets would presumably allow. Each character comes with a detailed description of the species which adds an element of education to the game. What I also really liked was a donation button on the home page that, rather than lining the pockets of the developers, goes to the American Bird Conservancy. A very nice touch. What tops this game off is that the characters are realistically attainable without having to buy currency or donate to unlock them. It truly is free to play.
Overall, everything about this game is a joy. The controls are great, the graphics beautiful and the characters, although just birds, have an added depth which is so often lacking from free to play games. This devs deserve a lot of plaudits for this app which has few flaws. To develop the game further, it might be fun to see an adventure mode where the bird flies in one direction through obstacles much like that helicopter game you used to sneakily play at school during IT lessons. Nevertheless, as it currently stands the game most certainly warrants an 8/10. If you haven’t played it yet I suggest downloading it now. You won’t regret it.