Tech News on G4

Retro Flying With Rock, Paper, Airplane

Oct 1, 2009

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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Nestled deep within the 65,000+ apps at  the iTunes store is a neato little game for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Rock, Paper, Airplane.

Rock, Paper, AirplaneAt first inclination, one may have surmised that it had been digitized or expanded from Rock, Paper, Scissors – a game, as kids, we all love to play. A quick Wikipedia search enlightened me - Rock, Paper, Scissors was certainly popular in the 20th century; invented in Japan in the late 19th century and was called Jan-ken-pon. However, there is no mention of any Airplane.

Fly a Paper Aiplane

The premise of Rock, Paper, Airplane issimple. It’s a Retro Airplane Flight Simulator. You start off by holding your device in landscape mode. As you move forward things will be coming at you from all directions. Lamps, goldfish bowls, clocks, armchairs and – even babies, robots, a maid and a nerd holding a coffee cup, just to name a few. The items look like early Microsoft clipart but we’re told its “cultural landmarks” from the 1950s. The word airplane should have tipped me off Toto, that we are not in the 21st century here.

You start Day 1 in the home. You navigate your way through your home by tilting and twisting your device, (it makes total use of its built-in inclinometer) avoiding any of the aforementioned obstacles at all costs.

Rock, Paper, AirplaneYour holy grail is to move towards the far end of the room or get through the doors, reaching the finish taking to the next level. You’ll go into space into a kindergarten and beyond. There will be more new clip-arty things coming at you and much faster too. So far I’ve only made it to level as I continue to beat my high score.

However, there are good things you want to run into – very Mario like. You do want to tackle the coins that earn you points and the atoms – by smashing them you gain super powers.  You’re encouraged with “You’re half way there”, You’re almost done” and congratulated with “Good Job!”. You  certainly can’t beat positive reinforcement.

While the game starts off slow, as you progress it does pick up the pace. And as it moves faster it is sometimes tricky to tell whether or not you are too close to an obstacle. It has a clean almost cartoon-like interface unlike many of the hi-tech modern diversions you see on gaming consoles.

No fancy special effects although you do get some 50’s music and the occasional blurting out of  “Golly” and the comic book “Oh No!” and Batman-like “Smash!”

Although the game is simple and totally “peachy-keen” I would have like to have seen a few more directions and maybe an FAQ explaining things like what some of the controls are, what happens when get your super powers.  Although eventually with trial and errors and a few bangs, you will figure them out.

But I guess who can complain for $0.99. You’ve really paid for the game the first time you play it!  There are few options available - except for sound volume and music volume. It does have a nifty ability to reverse the controls and a totally boss option to select your orientation as to whether you want to have you iPhone straight out in front of you or below where you can gaze down on it. You can also save your high score.

It’s fun and cool. I think James Dean would have played it. I’d rate this game 4/5.

Rock, Paper, Airplane  (12.7MB) is created by Information Appliance Associates and is avail from the Apple iTunes App store for $0.99


Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net Or

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