Paper.io

Paper.io is one of many Snake-esque multiplayer games. Drawing inspiration from classic and modern arcade titles, it feels both familiar and fresh. Read on to find out why this game is special.

Essentials
Paper.io has the potential to draw players from all walks of gaming life. It has barebones-simple, tried-and-true controls—gamers use the arrow keys or WASD to move. These are basic enough for young children to master and out-of-practice players to learn. In Paper.io, the objective is also easy to understand: overtake as much territory as possible. There are no special modes, no backstory, and no dialogue. From the second the game begins, players have all the information they need to score. Trek across the paper, conquer territory, and dominate.

Looks
The Paper.io welcome screen looks like most other .io games: enter a nickname and press the Play button to begin. Game instructions cycle rather quickly above the nickname field, dropping hints such as “Don’t hit the walls” and “Bite enemy tails.” For access to extra skins, players can click the Facebook Share link. This is a painless process; after sharing Paper.io, all of the skins unlock instantly. Skins include Nyan Cat, Freddy Fazbear, and Blinky from Pacman. The bonus skins add unique patterns and designs to the game arena. Without them, players are assigned random colors.

Similarities and Strategies
Paper.io is a lighter, smoother version of Splix.io. Instead of Splix’s dark grid, the background in Paper.io is a soft, light grey. The animations are fluid and pleasing. When overtaking a piece of the arena, colors transition and fade nicely. Paper.io appears to be the result of a mature evolution of previous .io games.

Graphical improvements aside, the gameplay in Paper.io is nearly identical to Splix.io. The objective and controls are the same. Thus, Splix strategies work equally well in Paper.io. Players must move away from their base, enclose a portion of the arena, and return to base safely. When traveling outside of their base, each player’s tail is vulnerable. Simply hit their tail to knock them out. No points are granted for defeating another player, but kill stats are shown at the end of each round.

Scores are based on how much of the arena each gamer possesses. Measured as a percentage, there are no points in the game. The leaderboard fluctuates constantly, as territories are gained and lost every second. This type of scoring means that everyone has a fair chance of getting ahead. Instead of only going for open spaces, new players can steal others’ zones to climb the scoreboard quickly.

Graphs
Paper.io has appealing, clear leaderboards. During gameplay, the top-right corner of the screen shows the top 5 players. Their scores appear as bar graphs. Each bar matches that player’s color. It’s easy to see and understand who is winning and by how much. Each player can view their own score in the top-left corner. The individual bar graph is always compared to that player’s personal best.

Beat your record and try to top the overall leaderboard in Paper.io!

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