It’s funny; The Lost Vikings is constantly referenced in the games industry whenever there’s any sort of teamwork involved with the characters making unique contributions, but while I did play it back in the day on the Amiga (and possibly the SNES), I remember very little about it.
Anyway, yes, Paper Titans is very much in the vein of The Lost Vikings (ahem), with various little guys collaborating to finish 45 levels.
Specifically, in Paper Titans, there are five different characters, each gradually introduced as the game progresses.
For starters, we have The Collector. He’s the only chap with the ability to collect stars (three in each level, natch), and the goal is to guide him to the exit x45. The remaining characters ultimately serve to move him around.
Next up, The Thrower can be used to launch The Collector to higher ground, while The Exploder pretty much does what it says on the tin, blowing up items of scenery to clear the way.
The Flyer, too, is fairly self-explanatory, with the ability to carry The Collector around, and finally The Shaman can be used to super-charge the abilities of the previous three.
That might sound easy enough on paper (pun intended), but Paper Titans is deceptively tricky.
Firstly, each of the four special moves can only be performed at fixed points on the playing area.
Further complicating things, you have a strict ration of little guys in each level, and it’s often necessary to plan ahead. Launching a Collector to collect a star is all well and good, but can he get back down? If not, you better make sure he’s not required elsewhere prior to launch.
It’s a similar story with The Shaman’s super powers. What was once a tiny jump courtesy of The Thrower suddenly becomes a massive leap across the level, so be wary of deploying the former too early.
And that’s Paper Titans in a very concise 300 words. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the game, but is it any good?
Well, yes. It looks great, with the playing area and the characters being almost entirely composed of – yes – folded paper, but don’t let the cuteness throw you off; it’s hella tough near the end, especially if you want to collect all three stars.
A couple of quick gripes though, starting with the controls. All too often I found myself cursing Paper Titans, as The Collector would walk into – rather than onto – The Thrower.
And when I subsequently tried to move The Collector back in order to take another run at The Thrower, inevitably the latter would move out of position instead. Incredibly frustrating.
Paper Titans is also rather slow paced, and in some levels while it’s quite obvious what you have to do, it takes several long minutes to execute. To be fair, the release notes suggest it used to be even slower, so perhaps I should be thankful for that.
But all in all, control and pace issues acknowledged, Paper Titans is a great title offering several hours of gameplay for just 69p. Like.
- Five different characters
- 45 levels across nine areas
- Looks great
- Occasionally frustrating touch controls
- Feels a tad sluggish on occasion
- Too tricky for kids, perhaps
Summary: Paper Titans is the kind of thing you can imagine Nintendo developing if they made smartphone games, and while the execution here isn’t perfect, it’s still a great game.
Developer: Blitz Game Studios Ltd
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.