Doesn’t paper go soggy in water?
Looking back to those long hot summers where I would go down to the local river andÂ race paper boats with friends, I came to realise that this had not happened and that maybe I saw this in a film. But now I can make my own memories of racing paper boats around a swimming pool in Paper Boat Race from I-play on the iPhone. Yay!
The premise is simple. Race your boat around the pool, going through gates and avoiding obstacles, and win. Five championships are available, each with five races, where players will be scored according to their position and the boat with the most points at the end wins. Each championship ramps up the difficulty, going from the sublimely simple to the downright dastardly. There is also a practice mode and quick race, allowing for some pick up and play action.
Here comes the interesting part. Your boat can be sped up or slowed down using the onscreen buttons. But, for those sporting an iPhone and halfway decent lungs, acceleration can be controlled by simply blowing into your iPhones mic. this method is not particularly ideal during flu season, or when in public. But the rest of the time, its a lot of fun. Players will need to be careful not to get carried away and end up hyperventilating.
Steering the boat comes down to tilting the device left and right, using the built in accelerometer. As with all games using this method, the same problems apply. Tilting the screen can reduce screen visibility and cause some rather frustrating collisions.
The game environment is colourful and well finished, and the boats look simple, yet good. The player can customise their boat, but only by changing colour, from a few simple choices. I would have liked to see more customisation options. Another glaring omission is multiplayer, which is really needed in any racing game. Also, a bit more variety in the courses would have been nice. There are only so many times that I would want to sail around the same swimming pool, no matter how many toys the kids have left in there.
PaperBoat Race is a fun little game with an innovative control method. Whilst not perfect, it will certainly entertain. I now look forward to the inevitable Paper Aeroplane racing, and had better start searching for an iPhone spit guard.
Paper Boat Race is available here for Â£1.19