Many Players, One Sheet
Who cares that the .io domain zone refers to British territories in the Indian Ocean? For most of us, .io means simple but very amusing multiplayer games, with primitive but expressive visuals. Paper.io is just this sort of browser game that has gone mobile.
The idea is simple. You control a colored cube that moves from a bigger static cube (the body) on the sheet of paper. When the moving cube returns to the still one, all the paper within the contour is conquered, so it gets painted the same color. Like in the classical Snake, you should not cross your own tail, otherwise, you die.
The trick is that other players can do the same to you. After you die, you disappear from the sheet, and the remaining players keep conquering it until there is only one left. Well, you don’t have to wait until your opponents are killed: you can just steal their territory as if it was blank. But watch your tail!
As for controls, the game is entirely swipe-based. Swipe to turn your head where you want to go, and then again when it’s time to take another turn. If you want, though, you can have arrow buttons for controlling the head.
Players Living and Not So Much
Paper.io is supposed to be a multiplayer game, and it mostly is. As you start the game, you connect to the server, and there are rivals for you to take out. There is always a Top 5 list in the upper right corner, and it updates in real time. So you can track your progress and watch your success in real time (just like, say, Slither.io).
In fact, you don’t even have to be online to play it. If you are offline, the app will accompany you with bots you can compete with. But their behavior seems strange: sometimes they act like they see the part of the screen they are not supposed to see. Still, even in this version, offline mode is a cool option.
Last but not least: there are challenges structured as levels. They are different: conquering a certain percent of a small map, killing all the rivals, doing any of that at low or high speed, and so on. This makes the gameplay more diverse and thus more fun.
Much Ad About Nothing
Like many other .io games, Paper.io is free, but heavily ad-supported. Heavily means that you have to watch an ad, regardless of whether you chose to watch it to continue the game or declined this offer. The difference is that in one situation you continue playing. But you can’t escape ads unless you pay $2.99 to turn them off completely. By the way, these ads often show other .io games, so don’t buy a Pro version immediately. Maybe some of these commercials will be useful to you.
• Simple but addictive gameplay;
• Compatible with most smart devices, plus web version;
• Easy to learn, hard to master;
• Available offline.
• Too many ads in the free version;
• Can’t save your nickname for long.