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Paper Galaxy Review

By , on January 2, 2013
Last modified 5 years, 5 months ago

Paper Galaxy
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Such a bizarre premise.
  • An interesting amount of spatial freedom for what's essentially and endless runner.


  • Easy to earn stars, but upgrades are locked behind an unlock wall.


Flee the dreaded Crab Nebula by sneezing your way in and out of orbit. It's interesting to be sure.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Our moon is sentient. It also has allergies. Now the game describes the sneezing as just a cold, but I think they might be lying. Welcome to Paper Galaxy. The moon has sneezed its way away from our solar system and now as it's trying to get back to the safe haven of the Earth's gravitational field, the evil Crab Nebula is chasing after it, trying to claim it as its own. You have to help the little guy back home, and quick. Without its influences, the oceans have been acting kind of crazy!

So with a universe between you and safety, what is a young orbiting body to do? Why use its power of orbit to its advantage. The game starts with sneezing into a planet's orbit, and then circling around the planet until the screen is tapped again, sending the moon sneezing in whatever direction you chose to travel in till it hits another planet. Each new planet visited will cause a cosmic butterfly to lead the way to a new celestial body, and following the path of this butterfly will increase your speed and your multiplier. Around each planet are stars to collect, which of course can be used on upgrades to give yourself an easier time in your task. Along the way you'll accidentally plunge into suns, get stuck in ice belts, and do your best to avoid black holes, all as the sinister Crab Nebula maliciously plods along behind you like a creepier Pepe Le Pew.

And that's pretty much the experience. Those who've played an endless runner know the cycle of play, mission completion, currency collection and store usage, and really, Paper Galaxy doesn't do anything different in that regard. The visuals have a bit of a flat look to them befitting the game's title with a nice use of color, and the ability to shoot off in any direction, and sometimes drift mindlessly through space for what seems like forever before hitting another orbit does a lot to add an element of both fun and gravity to the situation (if you'll pardon the pun). Looking for another endless runner or something that might put a smile on your face? Paper Galaxy will more than fulfill that need.


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PocketGamer 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks GamerChick for holding up the torch of journalism. It breaks my heart to see this reviewer be able to get away with such shoddy work. EVERY other review of this game is overwhelmingly positive and the content of this review as GC states below shows that Andrew didn't even play the game for more than 5 minutes. When are we going to stop putting up with this? The folks at AppSpy should take a closer look at Andrew's work since he is besmirching the AppSpy name. Further, there are more than 50 reviews for the game in the App Store and they are overwhelmingly positive. Why do wannabee journalists think crapping on something is the path to authorship? This is a genuinely good game. Ive been playing it for days now and it's awesome. my kid plays, my wife plays, my aunt even bought it. This thing has the potential to be the next Angry Birds, and AppSpy should be helping that happen for their own sake as well as the good of helping the cream rise to the top.

This kind of lameness just makes it harder to figure out what to buy and what not to buy.

andrew 5 years, 5 months ago

Firstly, this is Dave's review and I'm the Editor around these parts - I read his review and played the game while recording the footage and I concurred with his points.

Now on to the rest.

'Shoddy work' - we're going to have to dig deeper here as you claim that 'overwhelmingly positive' reviews are an indicator that we've got it wrong, including the 50 5-star ratings on the App Store.

Dave's opinion with regards to this game are no more or less valid than others - I could ask him to elaborate more on why the game feels no more exciting than a run-of-the-mill 'endless' title, but the point remains that the game does very little outside of its base mechanics to break away from other titles. Furthermore that base mechanic isn't even fresh or designed in such a way to be any more engaging than other titles - if you found this game to be good, you might find Rocket Bunnies by Defiant to be the second coming itself; _it_ gets how to make fast, furious, and finger-twisting challenges work.

As to the rest, your personal bias is not proof of the game's excellence - you're more than welcome to enjoy any game as much as you want in complete deference to our opinion, however we have to consider how games such as these fit in to the whole of the App Store...

Now, lets dig even further. Both you and 'GamerChick' have very little in the way of legs to stand on here - both QI and Metacritic show no other major site having reviewed this title, so claims of 'every other review of this game is overwhelmingly positive' is verifiably false. Furthermore both of you have posted reviews of 10/10 over at Metacritic, so this starts to smack of PR damage control. Lastly, I work for Steel Media, the company that owns PocketGamer - if you're going to pose as a major site, try to steer away from those I'm intimately tied to ;)

Please don't get me wrong, Paper Galaxy is fun, but only briefly so as it fails to show any evolution of its concept early on - it's all well and good for a game to have an incredible end-game, but slogging through hours of monotony do not constitute 'fun' for many gamers (I do at least concede that there are those who do genuinely enjoy the long-term goals despite said repetitiveness).

I am more than welcome to have our work criticized, but I completely endorse this review and would have to see far more compelling evidence than 'my family enjoys it' to change my mind on it.

PocketGamer 5 years, 5 months ago

First off, your right. I came on too strong. Let me respond to the small stuff first.

Re: PocketGamer - not trying to pass as anyone. This has been my handle for quite some time (when i can get it) largely because I prefer mobile gaming. It seems a little harsh to heap accusations on me just because of a handle choice.

Re: PR whatamacallit. I saw the rating on metacritic - fought it there and then traced it back to the source and fought it there; end of story. Admittedly I was egged on by the fact that no other reviews were being shown on Metacritic, but again seems a little harsh to be heaping accusations on because of that.

Re: the other reviews - it would take you less time to check the itunes store and search the web to see that I'm telling the truth, than the time it took you to write your response, so it doesn't seem fair that you just brushed the facts under the rug in the first paragraph and spent the rest of the time ripping me a new one. It makes me feel like you are reacting rather than checking the facts.

Re: "nothing new here" - I know that on the surface it's easy to watch a video or play for 5 minutes and come to that but that is doing a huge disservice to this game. there is lots of things going on under the hood that, of course, I feel are evolutions to the genre - for example, when you get to the end of Jet pack joyride, you just run into an electrified wall, the end. At the end of this there is a little story, rewards, and you unlock a whole new game mode. But you'd have to play that far to know, I guess.

Again, I'm sorry for the harsh words I used with Dave. Mea Culpa. There were two forces at work there. 1) Really liking a game a lot. It's brought my family together in a whole new way. We are all talking about it. and 2) feeling that this particular reviewer had not given the game a chance.

I'd love to see a game like this become something like Angry Birds. What was AB after all other than just another artillery game with physics and cute characters? It could have easily been dismissed, but wasn't. It got the love and support it needed to become a wonderful success that no doubt has helped the entire mobile gaming world.

I used to be a console gamer and before that a PC gamer and in each phase the number one bummer for me was cynical reviewers who thought it it looked smarter to be diminutive and dismissive of games and corrosive to gaming world, than to support and uphold it. Magazines became so hard to read with everything being doom and gloom except for the few yearly blockbusters that no magazine dared to bust on. One by one I stopped reading them because they were mostly depressing and one sided.

The App/mobile gaming world has mostly avoided this. I still feel like there is an excited bunch of indy / app / mobile / game, supporters and the press is still vibrant, optimistic, and balanced. Dave's review reminded me of the things that I didn't like from that cynical press so I handled up and posted. Admittedly, I should have put a 72 hour waiting period on that gun.

IMO - Paper Galaxy is wonderful and deep game the entire family can enjoy and it's one of the best in the genre. It's as beautiful to watch as it is to play. To give it a 3.2 (distilled to 60% on Metacritic) just doesn't seem fair.

All of that said, I will apologize to Dave a third time. I've come to the defense of games before in a much more civil and polite manner and was dealt with in the same manner as now. Perhaps I was just trying to break through that barrier. I know that at this point everyone is so dug in that it would take a miracle for things to change. I'm sorry for that. I only wanted you to see what I see in Paper Galaxy.

Thanks for not censoring me and letting this conversation be out in the open.

GamerChick 5 years, 5 months ago

Lol... you obviously haven't played this game... or else you would know that more than 1/2 of your information is dead wrong. The upgrades are not locked. I have been playing for weeks and I have all the upgrades without spending a cent. I earned every star the old fashioned way...playing the game. The only way you could have thought that is if you didn't finish the first run...because that is when the upgrade page loads up for you... FREE. So Mr. Reviewer of Games... you should probably actually PLAY the game before telling people information that isn't true.