PAX East 2018: Flying on Folded Wings Through Paper Valley

Paper airplanes are deceptively complicated.  Fold, toss, and be happy that it’s flying across the room, and then you see a video online of someone clearing a football stadium.  Paper Valley was shown off at the Oculus Game Day event and at its most basic it’s a game of tossing paper airplanes at targets.  The demo was the very earliest level, but even hitting the simple early throws took a bit of finesse.

The game starts in a cave with flowers and a stream flowing through it, and you’re rooted to the spot with a small swarm of colorful paper airplanes swirling around you.  They’re limited, but if you run out a new one materializes within easy reach.  The target that pops up from the ground is the main goal, but I was also having fun planting airplanes in the walls and rocks to sprout ferns from where they land.  Once you clear the targets the last one turns into a swirling purple vortex, and the last plane is a purple one you toss at it to teleport to the next area just a little bit deeper into the cave.

The controls of the plane are fairly simple but offer a decent amount of finesse to correct a bad throw.  Once you’ve grabbed a plane from midair a simple toss sends it flying, and then you can twist your wrist to effect its trajectory.  The plane only has so much momentum, so angling up means it’s going to start flying down pretty quickly, but a twist the left or right can turn a bad throw into a win even if it doesn’t manage to nail the center of the target.  Different planes have different characteristics, such as speed or maneuverability, but in general once you’ve got the hang of throwing it’s not too difficult to land a hit.

Paper Valley is officially announced today, complete with an April 19 release date.  It’s a lovely little thing with a no-pressure approach, but still having enough technique for skilled players to show off.  Throw planes, hit targets, and restore life and color to the world.  It’s quite possibly one of the most peaceful ways of saving a run-down land that’s seen better days.