Back in 1988, John Calhoun released a simple 2D (of course) paper airplane flying game for the Macintosh known as Glider.  The goal was simply to fly from room to room in a house without hitting the walls or obstacles.  It was quite a bit of fun and gathered something of a cult following among Mac gamers.

Clever Coding has just released what's more or less a modern, 3D version of this classic.  Paper Pilot [App Store] puts the player in accelerometer-based control of a paper airplane moving from room to room across eight different environments.  Speed is controlled with a swipe to the screen.  The goal is to collect dangling paperclips strewn about the rooms in the best time possible.  Unlike in Glider, however, bumping into things doesn't cause a major hazard (which is unfortunate, actually).

Starting with only 2 courses unlocked, fly qualifying times to receive your Test Pilot, Fighter Pilot and Captain's rankings, while unlocking the next levels. Your flying skills will be squarely challenged as you unlock longer courses and qualify for more and more ranks.

The developer suggests that Paper Pilot, based on the Unity Engine, features unsurpassed graphics with a level of detail and richness unseen elsewhere in the App Store.  Whether or not that's in fact the case, the environments are indeed impressive with particularly well done lighting.  The game runs at a decent framerate on the iPhone 3G, but isn't glass smooth and a bit of chop crops up here and there.  Surely the title shines a bit brighter on the faster 2G iPod touch.

See the developer's Paper Pilot video page for several gameplay videos, including a higher quality version of the clip embedded below.

Flying a paper airplane from room to room in these realistic environments is a pretty fun diversion.  Darting behind an office desk, swirling around a ceiling fan, or just trying to locate that last floating paper clip isn't a bad way to spend a bit of the daily commute.  It's a unique, casual flyer that most iPhone gamers will probably find worth a spot on their app list.

UPDATE: Since the initial publishing of this story, the developer has informed us that the next version of Paper Pilot is currently in development and will include, among other things:

  • Weapons, like spitball guns and pencil missles
  • Enemies, like the stapler and tape dispenser
  • Dogfighting other paper airplanes

Game Details
Name: Paper Pilot (v1.0.1) Price: $2.99 [Buy]
Developer: Clever Coding Size: 33.0 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G
If feeling tiny and flying a paper airplane from room to (realistic) room sounds like your cup of tea, give Paper Pilot a try. It's a unique iPhone flyer that might just make you nostalgic for Mac classic Glider.

TouchArcade Rating

  • mimiju

    When I try to install it on my iPod touch 1st gen, I receive en error message... It says it's only iPhone compatible... I don't understand...

  • mimiju

    When I try to install it on my iPod touch 1st gen, I receive en error message... It says it's only iPhone compatible... I don't understand...

  • MooCow

    Here we go. Developers are already pushing the platform so much that older devices won't be able to use their software properly.

    Way to undercut your own sales.

  • MooCow

    Here we go. Developers are already pushing the platform so much that older devices won't be able to use their software properly.

    Way to undercut your own sales.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @mimiju: Sorry we did not read the fine print on the App Store page before you chimed up. It seems the game is not compatible with the 1G iPod touch, likely due to performance issues (as it's the slowest iPhone platform device).

    Story updated.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @mimiju: Sorry we did not read the fine print on the App Store page before you chimed up. It seems the game is not compatible with the 1G iPod touch, likely due to performance issues (as it's the slowest iPhone platform device).

    Story updated.

  • mimiju

    I thought it was as fast as any iPhone... :/

  • mimiju

    I thought it was as fast as any iPhone... :/

  • mimiju

    I mean, I knew the touch 2G was faster, but I've heard 1G et iPhone were basically the same...

  • mimiju

    I mean, I knew the touch 2G was faster, but I've heard 1G et iPhone were basically the same...

  • Tulse

    One key feature of Glider that seems to be missing here is that in the original game your plane would continually lose altitude unless there was some sort of updraft -- in other words, it acted like an actual glider. From the videos, it looks like this isn't the case in Paper Pilot, which makes the game somewhat less interesting.

  • Tulse

    One key feature of Glider that seems to be missing here is that in the original game your plane would continually lose altitude unless there was some sort of updraft -- in other words, it acted like an actual glider. From the videos, it looks like this isn't the case in Paper Pilot, which makes the game somewhat less interesting.

  • spiffyone

    They are the same. The only way I can see this being an issue is if the developer in question specifically developed only with the 2nd gen models in mind, which is just completely asinine. Way to go, devs! You've just decreased your pool of potential consumers. Kudos! >_>

  • spiffyone

    They are the same. The only way I can see this being an issue is if the developer in question specifically developed only with the 2nd gen models in mind, which is just completely asinine. Way to go, devs! You've just decreased your pool of potential consumers. Kudos! >_>

  • swarmster

    Holy crap, I just realized how much John Calhoun _needs_ to do a iPhone version of Glider.

    I'm already scared that if 10.6 goes Intel-only, Glider Pro won't run anymore. Casady & Greene went out of business before the whole switchover, and I don't think there's ever been a Universal update put out since.

    It's always been the first thing that goes on any Mac I buy. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to upgrade past 10.5...

  • meme

    As a developer i'd find it hard to imagine how you'd exclude the 1G in Unity.. all I can think is they thought the framerate was unacceptable, tho in some cases I supose that could make it less stable.

  • swarmster

    Holy crap, I just realized how much John Calhoun _needs_ to do a iPhone version of Glider.

    I'm already scared that if 10.6 goes Intel-only, Glider Pro won't run anymore. Casady & Greene went out of business before the whole switchover, and I don't think there's ever been a Universal update put out since.

    It's always been the first thing that goes on any Mac I buy. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to upgrade past 10.5...

  • meme

    As a developer i'd find it hard to imagine how you'd exclude the 1G in Unity.. all I can think is they thought the framerate was unacceptable, tho in some cases I supose that could make it less stable.

  • SalsaMD

    #35
    Today, 05:02 PM
    clevercoding
    Junior Member

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Posts: 3

    Updates
    "Thanks so much for all the comments... all the 1st Gen guys, we're really sorry. Expect it to be fixed tomorrow. Apparently we accidentally clicked the button on the Apple submit form and that was just our bad. Sorry not lazy coding."

  • SalsaMD

    #35
    Today, 05:02 PM
    clevercoding
    Junior Member

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Posts: 3

    Updates
    "Thanks so much for all the comments... all the 1st Gen guys, we're really sorry. Expect it to be fixed tomorrow. Apparently we accidentally clicked the button on the Apple submit form and that was just our bad. Sorry not lazy coding."

  • http://paperpilot.clevercoding.com/index.html Brandon Pluim

    Hey guys... like was mentioned earlier, it was totally an accident... for all you 1st Gen guys who bought it let us know from our website and we'll fix it. Sorry for the dumb dumb dumb mistake.

  • http://paperpilot.clevercoding.com/index.html Brandon Pluim

    Hey guys... like was mentioned earlier, it was totally an accident... for all you 1st Gen guys who bought it let us know from our website and we'll fix it. Sorry for the dumb dumb dumb mistake.

  • meme

    ... Corrected, I didn't think of that one ;)

  • meme

    ... Corrected, I didn't think of that one ;)

  • EH

    In the interest of full disclosure, the developer has simply taken the graphics from these:

    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/iphone-examples
    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/sewercontrolroom
    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/shadowdemo

    While the licensing technically allows such use as long as they're used in a Unity project, for the dev to take credit for the graphics and sell the app (which seems to be simply a mod of the standard Startrooper Unity iPhone demo) is, IMO, unconscionable.

  • EH

    In the interest of full disclosure, the developer has simply taken the graphics from these:

    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/iphone-examples
    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/sewercontrolroom
    http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/shadowdemo

    While the licensing technically allows such use as long as they're used in a Unity project, for the dev to take credit for the graphics and sell the app (which seems to be simply a mod of the standard Startrooper Unity iPhone demo) is, IMO, unconscionable.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Tulse: Note, the developer never called this a rework of the original Glider, I'm just making the comparison myself. Also, in full 3D like this it would be quite difficult to utilize updrafts over small vents, it would seem. Perhaps with a Pilotwings 64-style updraft column that's visually rendered...

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Tulse: Note, the developer never called this a rework of the original Glider, I'm just making the comparison myself. Also, in full 3D like this it would be quite difficult to utilize updrafts over small vents, it would seem. Perhaps with a Pilotwings 64-style updraft column that's visually rendered...

  • Exo

    Clever Coding, eh? This is the Unity3d iPhone occlusion culling demo level combined with the main Unity3d iPhone demo level. All they did was slap these things together and swap out the graphics for the space ship and floating rings.

  • Exo

    Clever Coding, eh? This is the Unity3d iPhone occlusion culling demo level combined with the main Unity3d iPhone demo level. All they did was slap these things together and swap out the graphics for the space ship and floating rings.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Thanks for all the feed back so far. Sorry for the 1st generation mistake. I was the one that uploaded the app to Apple so that was my bad. We tested the app on 1st and 2nd generation Touches and 1st and 2nd generation iPhones and it works fine on all of them. I am not positive on how Apple embeds the 2nd generation restriction on apps but my guess is you will need to redownload the app once Apple updates iTunes to get it to install on your 1st generation device. Also any suggestion you have for the next version please send to suggestions@clevercoding.com

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Thanks for all the feed back so far. Sorry for the 1st generation mistake. I was the one that uploaded the app to Apple so that was my bad. We tested the app on 1st and 2nd generation Touches and 1st and 2nd generation iPhones and it works fine on all of them. I am not positive on how Apple embeds the 2nd generation restriction on apps but my guess is you will need to redownload the app once Apple updates iTunes to get it to install on your 1st generation device. Also any suggestion you have for the next version please send to suggestions@clevercoding.com

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Exo. We did used the Unity assets heavily for this app. But as anyone that has developed a game before knows it isn't quite as simple as "slapping" things together. There was still a lot of work that went into make a game out of it.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Exo. We did used the Unity assets heavily for this app. But as anyone that has developed a game before knows it isn't quite as simple as "slapping" things together. There was still a lot of work that went into make a game out of it.

  • rich_952000

    @moon, I think this looks awesome. You guys will learn that 98% of the iPhone culture are spoiled, or never satisfied! Thanks for forward development. I will be playing, then emailing thoughts/inmpressions to you.

  • rich_952000

    @moon, I think this looks awesome. You guys will learn that 98% of the iPhone culture are spoiled, or never satisfied! Thanks for forward development. I will be playing, then emailing thoughts/inmpressions to you.

  • http://www.mehware.com Curve

    Yeah, the environment/lighting etc. look soo good because they were made by the folks at Unity. Everything in the scene is from a demo. The game looks more or less hacked together using bits and pieces of Unity demo/software with some graphic substitution. I don't know why you try and sell other peoples assets.

  • http://www.mehware.com Curve

    Yeah, the environment/lighting etc. look soo good because they were made by the folks at Unity. Everything in the scene is from a demo. The game looks more or less hacked together using bits and pieces of Unity demo/software with some graphic substitution. I don't know why you try and sell other peoples assets.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Just so you know we contacted Unity and asked them if we can use the levels that we are using. When you purchase the Unity license they have a whole library of assets that developers are free to use in their games. http://unity3d.com/support/resources/assets/

    We are selling the game we developed and the assets we purchased the rights to use in buying Unity.

    The controllers, game play, etc. Basically everything that makes it a game was developed by our company. It is no different than if we went to squid or some other 3D site to purchase the 3D graphics and used those inside of the game instead.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Just so you know we contacted Unity and asked them if we can use the levels that we are using. When you purchase the Unity license they have a whole library of assets that developers are free to use in their games. http://unity3d.com/support/resources/assets/

    We are selling the game we developed and the assets we purchased the rights to use in buying Unity.

    The controllers, game play, etc. Basically everything that makes it a game was developed by our company. It is no different than if we went to squid or some other 3D site to purchase the 3D graphics and used those inside of the game instead.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    On another note. Apple updated the app to now be compatible with 1st generation devices. Anyone that had problems with that please redownload it and you should be able to get it installed now.

    Enjoy and happy flying.

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    On another note. Apple updated the app to now be compatible with 1st generation devices. Anyone that had problems with that please redownload it and you should be able to get it installed now.

    Enjoy and happy flying.

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  • Jamie

    Hi guys,

    I have yet to download and play this (am at work and the stupid Quit Smoking app is taking up too much room), but from the feeback, screenshots, and videos posted, I am sure to be 101% addicted by day's end.

    I like the fact that you appear to be a 'boutique' developer (unlike our not-so-good friends at EA who still haven't fixed the traffic in Sim City) who are responding to feedback and promising updates (LAN dogfighting, please!!).

    Good luck, and expect my cash and feedback as soon as I get back to the Mothership and get rid of said Quit Smoking program.

    Brilliant guys, just brilliant.

    Best of luck,

    Jamie
    PS. Will there be level updates too?

  • Jamie

    Hi guys,

    I have yet to download and play this (am at work and the stupid Quit Smoking app is taking up too much room), but from the feeback, screenshots, and videos posted, I am sure to be 101% addicted by day's end.

    I like the fact that you appear to be a 'boutique' developer (unlike our not-so-good friends at EA who still haven't fixed the traffic in Sim City) who are responding to feedback and promising updates (LAN dogfighting, please!!).

    Good luck, and expect my cash and feedback as soon as I get back to the Mothership and get rid of said Quit Smoking program.

    Brilliant guys, just brilliant.

    Best of luck,

    Jamie
    PS. Will there be level updates too?

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  • Mcdoodle

    It's terrible. There is no gliding or updraft simulation. It's a scam. You admit to not even making the graphics. What did you do? All you do is move a 3d camera in 3d space. It's as baisc as it gets. You did nothing. This site talked up your game as if it were great. It's not. This site does this far too often. I've lost faith in this site. This isn't the first time toucharcade has made garbage seem like gold

  • Mcdoodle

    It's terrible. There is no gliding or updraft simulation. It's a scam. You admit to not even making the graphics. What did you do? All you do is move a 3d camera in 3d space. It's as baisc as it gets. You did nothing. This site talked up your game as if it were great. It's not. This site does this far too often. I've lost faith in this site. This isn't the first time toucharcade has made garbage seem like gold

  • 'Jeep

    Fab game, looks and feels great, thanks a lot. Can you leave one of the windows open in a future update?

    Somehow I get the feeling that people don't understand that it's the user's experience that makes a great game, and not a programmer's ego. I couldn't care less how you put this together, I can only see it was done with vision, and the end result delivers! Clever, you may say so!

  • 'Jeep

    Fab game, looks and feels great, thanks a lot. Can you leave one of the windows open in a future update?

    Somehow I get the feeling that people don't understand that it's the user's experience that makes a great game, and not a programmer's ego. I couldn't care less how you put this together, I can only see it was done with vision, and the end result delivers! Clever, you may say so!

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Jeep,

    Thanks for your comment. It was never are intention to take credit for something that wasn't ours but to build the best game we could on virtually no budget. We are a small indie shop without any graphics artist (yet). We credit Unity for the art in the credits of the game, on our website and in our iTunes listing.

    We are grateful for all the positive things that have been said. We look at all the feedback and suggestion that are posted in forums like this and we will try and take those suggested and build an even better version 2 of the game.

    Steve

  • http://www.clevercoding.com Steven Moon

    Jeep,

    Thanks for your comment. It was never are intention to take credit for something that wasn't ours but to build the best game we could on virtually no budget. We are a small indie shop without any graphics artist (yet). We credit Unity for the art in the credits of the game, on our website and in our iTunes listing.

    We are grateful for all the positive things that have been said. We look at all the feedback and suggestion that are posted in forums like this and we will try and take those suggested and build an even better version 2 of the game.

    Steve

  • Greeter

    The guy that did Zone Warrior for the iPhone is apprently doing Glider too. Go to horshamonline.com and scroll down.

  • Greeter

    The guy that did Zone Warrior for the iPhone is apprently doing Glider too. Go to horshamonline.com and scroll down.

  • macusernick

    If you do want to add weapons to the game and such, I would suggest looking at Toy Commander for the Dreamcast. The way they implemented the system was quite well done I thought.

  • macusernick

    If you do want to add weapons to the game and such, I would suggest looking at Toy Commander for the Dreamcast. The way they implemented the system was quite well done I thought.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Mcdoodle: I'm sorry you find our reviews too optimistic.

    I will say that we play maybe 25 games for every 1 we post about. I don't randomly grab a bad game out of the pile and point it out as being bad and not worth a play. I'm not sure who wants to read that and the volume of bad games moving through the App Store is huge.

    If there is a situation where a game has been highly anticipated or gotten a great deal of lead-up media coverage and ended up being a real stinker of a title -- that's a scenario in which writing up a bad game is valuable to our readers, in my opinion. If it's a highly unique game that stands out in some way, but is lacking in others, we'll report it - that's worth knowing about.

    I stand by the fact that I find Paper Pilot amusing to play. I've always loved the FPS maps made out to be set in a living room or a bathroom, etc. Macusernick recommended Toy Commander. I love that game on my Dreamcast. Is Paper Pilot as good a game as Toy Commander? Not nearly. But, though the graphics were used (legitimately it seems) from the Unity samples (and I was unaware of this when writing the article), they look rather nice. I do agree that Clever Coding's effort here would seem somewhat more impressive had they created their own environments.

    I enjoy "flying" through the rooms. But, is it a flight simulator? No.

    I mentioned there are certain framerate issues and bemoaned the fact that running into a wall does not crash the paper airplane. I don't feel that I made the title out to be gold, but truly expressed the fact that I enjoy the title. A video is embedded and a page of videos is linked.

    I think the typical gamer is "safe" having read this and reacting to it as they may (and hoping that they watched the videos).

    If you were mislead by this review and feel you wasted your $2.99 on the purchase of this title, well, I am sorry to hear it.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Mcdoodle: I'm sorry you find our reviews too optimistic.

    I will say that we play maybe 25 games for every 1 we post about. I don't randomly grab a bad game out of the pile and point it out as being bad and not worth a play. I'm not sure who wants to read that and the volume of bad games moving through the App Store is huge.

    If there is a situation where a game has been highly anticipated or gotten a great deal of lead-up media coverage and ended up being a real stinker of a title -- that's a scenario in which writing up a bad game is valuable to our readers, in my opinion. If it's a highly unique game that stands out in some way, but is lacking in others, we'll report it - that's worth knowing about.

    I stand by the fact that I find Paper Pilot amusing to play. I've always loved the FPS maps made out to be set in a living room or a bathroom, etc. Macusernick recommended Toy Commander. I love that game on my Dreamcast. Is Paper Pilot as good a game as Toy Commander? Not nearly. But, though the graphics were used (legitimately it seems) from the Unity samples (and I was unaware of this when writing the article), they look rather nice. I do agree that Clever Coding's effort here would seem somewhat more impressive had they created their own environments.

    I enjoy "flying" through the rooms. But, is it a flight simulator? No.

    I mentioned there are certain framerate issues and bemoaned the fact that running into a wall does not crash the paper airplane. I don't feel that I made the title out to be gold, but truly expressed the fact that I enjoy the title. A video is embedded and a page of videos is linked.

    I think the typical gamer is "safe" having read this and reacting to it as they may (and hoping that they watched the videos).

    If you were mislead by this review and feel you wasted your $2.99 on the purchase of this title, well, I am sorry to hear it.

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  • Sergey

    To those that are upset because the dev used Unity made assets, why?
    It's allowed I guess you're upset because the dev used the available assets to it's advantage, why not make another paper plane and use the assets then release the game to compete with this one? if you don't like to use Unity made assets then don't use it but no need to cry foul when some one else used it because it's not a foul, it's perfectly legal and no it is not morally wrong either!

  • Sergey

    To those that are upset because the dev used Unity made assets, why?
    It's allowed I guess you're upset because the dev used the available assets to it's advantage, why not make another paper plane and use the assets then release the game to compete with this one? if you don't like to use Unity made assets then don't use it but no need to cry foul when some one else used it because it's not a foul, it's perfectly legal and no it is not morally wrong either!

  • http://paperpilot.clevercoding.com/ Oniatariio

    Anyone interested in the discussion about using Unity art assets in Paper Pilot can find the forum thread on it here:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=17815&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30

    Discussion has followed long after even such a supportive contribution from Unity CCO Nicholas:
    "... we made those assets to be used. The more people use them, the happier I am. We want people to do stuff like this."

  • http://paperpilot.clevercoding.com/ Oniatariio

    Anyone interested in the discussion about using Unity art assets in Paper Pilot can find the forum thread on it here:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=17815&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30

    Discussion has followed long after even such a supportive contribution from Unity CCO Nicholas:
    "... we made those assets to be used. The more people use them, the happier I am. We want people to do stuff like this."

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