App Of The Day: Paper Baron

If you’ve ever felt that your tax dollars just go to the armed forces in order to blow stuff up, think again. Apparently, it also finances paper plane versions of Foursquare.

What does it do?

Paper Baron sounds like it should be a game about managing forests and the production of pulp, but instead it’s an official product of the Royal Australian Air Force. It’s a paper airplane game — rather similar to the Nintendo DSiWare Paper Plane game — that tasks you with flying a plane as far as you can using only swipes and taps.

Why do we like it?

It’s simple in that pick-up-and-play way that the best iOS games are, but at the same time the physics it uses aren’t too exaggerated; while I doubt I’ll ever throw an actual paper plane 800m, it feels OK while playing. The social aspects do give it some depth; you can create your own geolocated “airstrip” and anyone nearby can fly on it and challenge your high score, or fly on the Air Force’s official strips.

Why don’t we like it?

It’s rather slow and sedate, and there’s not enough in “creating” your own airstrips beyond naming it and watching a dot drop down on Google maps. The social aspects are rather dry at the moment, which isn’t all that shocking for a new app, but like many social applications, if it doesn’t take off in a big way, it could be a bit of a wasteland. It’s also not universal, and predictably looks chunky in expanded iPad mode.

Paper Baron for iPhone

Download this app for:

The Best

Simple free gameplay

The Worst

Social and Airstrip sections are bare-bones.