Day 358: PaperCraft

Posted: 2011/11/04 in Indie Games

Now this is cool. I’ve wondered for a while where the shoot-’em-up genre can go, long-term. It started out innocently enough, but over time “shmups” ended up having to throw more and more bullets at you to differentiate themselves, and “bullet hell” was born. “REVOLVER360” did some neat things with multiple planes and views, but it was a trick that would get old quickly if every game started doing it. PaperCraft has an answer, and it was an unexpected one: introducing resource management. Fans of the “Area 88” anime (and manga) may find something vaguely familiar to it, though not identical.

In PaperCraft you have to fly back and forth from your defence base to refineries; load up in cargo and new tech, and return it to base. Your cargo is converted to cash which you can use to upgrade the speed of your plane (so that you can make more trips), your cargo capacity (to make each trip count for more), your plane’s offensive abilities, or your base’s defences (against the oncoming enemy onslaught). Experimenting with differences balances between these priorities is an important route to success, and adds some replay value. Keep in mind that you have to contend with enemy fighters during these cargo runs as well.

The fact that you’re flying paper airplane fightercraft gives the game a unique graphical look (since they’re detailed paper airplanes, more origami than gradeschool). With four player co-op bolstering the game, it’s an 80 Microsoft Point experiment that hits the mark and is well worth checking out.

  1. crack says:

    It is a great indie but it needs a save system. Overall, a fun game.

    • I agree that the game would benefit from a save system, but I felt its absense was forgiveable given PaperCraft is a bold experiment that mostly works and only costs 80 MSP. :)

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