APP OF THE DAY: Paper Glider review (iPhone / iPod touch / iPad)
It's reassuring to know that, regardless of the influence that American companies have over the UK tech market (Apple, Microsoft, Qualcomm, KFC - it's the only thing that keeps many tech journalists going in the hard times), that the 10 billionth application download on the iTunes App Store just so happened to have been developed by a British company.
And coincidentally, it was downloaded by a British customer - Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent who won herself a $10,000 iTunes gift card.
We may have lost the vast majority of our car manufacturers, export industry, and the rights to host the 2018 World Cup finals (well, England did anyway), but we still know how to celebrate small victories when they come along. And so, we bring you an earlier than usual App of the Day today in honour to...
- iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Neon Play, known for Flick Football and Golf Putt Pro, couldn't buy the sort of publicity that it has been awarded by its Paper Glider being the 10 billionth application downloaded from the App Store, so it's incredibly heartening to note that it couldn't have happened to a nicer company or concept.
Paper Glider itself is a mind-boggingly simple idea; guide a paper aeroplane as far as you can by an initial swipe and gentle gusts of wind. Yet, it is fiendishly addictive and an ideal and welcome time waster for a journey, long or short.
The first swipe, as they don't say in any songs, is the hardest. You have to be rough enough that the plane will carry through an office and out of the far window, but accurate enough that it doesn't crash into the ceiling or get decimated in either of the two fans.
Get it out of the window, and the rest is a test timing, where tiny taps provide just enough wind to keep the plane aloft. There's only a limited amount of puff in you, as represented by a bar at the top of the screen, before it's totally gone and gravity will have its wicked way.
That is it, really.
The addictive side of the game is that, wherever your plane falls a marker will be placed (with an old-school three-letter tag of your own choosing), which will stay on screen the next time you play. You then try to beat your furthest attempt.
You can also post your scores to Twitter, Facebook, or send out an email. Simple, cunning and a prime example of a "just one more go" game.
Admittedly, Paper Glider is not original. The concept is a tried and tested one (just check out Mousebreaker.com's Ronaldo2Real online Flash game, which obviously pre-dates the player's move to Real Madrid, or the Pingu Throw section of the Yeti Olympics, and there are certain similarities), but it is paired down to its core in this instant, and that makes it all the more accessible.
Also, as the app is completely supported by advertising, it's free - you won't lose anything by giving it a try. So, what are you waiting for, the 20 billionth app download?