Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Paper Monsters ($2.99 Universal, $0.99 Mac) is a classic 2D side-scrolling platform game by Crescent Moon Games and Robots Vs Wizards. The graphics, however, make this game visually stunning to behold.
The monsters in this game are made of, well, paper, just as the title says. Each monster is not at all scary, but more mischievous in nature. This design is of course the signature feature of the game. The hero is made of cardboard, and that’s the edge he has over the monsters. The goal for the hero is to keep the monsters from doing all sorts of “bad guy stuff” in order to maintain the happiness of Paperland.
In the main adventure of Paperland, there are four chapters set in a different environment, with four levels in each chapter. When you complete the first level, a mini game called Drag ‘N Dash is unlocked. In this game you control a paper dragon monster that runs the same course as the main adventure, except in an endless side-scroller fashion where all you do is jump. When you complete all 16 levels of the main adventure, a second game called Heartbreak Shakedown is unlocked with an additional six levels. Heartbreak Shakedown is only available as a bonus on the iOS version of the game, as it is missing from the Mac version.
Controlling the main character of the game requires the use of either a classic touch screen d-pad or a floating joystick with your left hand, and just tapping anywhere on the screen with your right hand to jump and double jump. On the Mac version of the game, this is all done via the keyboard, which is all the control you need to get from platform to platform, jumping on monsters and collecting buttons as you go.
Throughout the game you will find and collect regular buttons, golden buttons and paper clips. These treasures can be hidden in plants, boxes, mushrooms or above your head just slightly out of view. Beyond providing a quest to find all of the hidden objects on each level, the buttons can also be used in the dressing room to outfit your cardboard hero in various attire. There is also the ability to make an in-app purchase in the Button Store if you see an item you just have to have, but cannot yet afford.
True to form for any well developed platform game, there are areas on each level that are slightly out of view that you discover by double jumping in unexpected places as you make your way to the end of a level. These secret paths and hidden items are always easier to find the second time you play each level. This adds to the replay value of the game. There are also times when you get to control a helicopter or submarine, which provides a break from all of the running and jumping. Overall the game control is quite smooth, and each level is sufficiently full of hidden secrets to keep your interest satisfied for the weekend.