Paper Lander: Lasers, Paper and Rocketships!

paper landers

Most of us have heard of “paper” styled games such as Little Big Planet, so is it any wonder why some devs are finding new and interesting ways to implement this idea?


That’s exactly what UK based devs, “This Way Up Games” are doing with their game: Paper Lander

Today I’ve decided to do something slightly different, after all DoubleUpGaming is the place that brings you a unique and interesting insight on gaming.

In this article:

  • Not only will you get a first look at Paper Lander you’ll find this featured article accompanied with a podcast interview;
  • An exclusive and in depth look into the the mechanics of this game; and
  • A unique case study on mobile games

(If you like this style of article, then make sure to let me know with a tweet.  Below is the live podcast created at Develop:Brighton, 15th July) 

From prototype to lift off

I approached Nikos Chagialas (Developer from This Way Up Games) not knowing what to expect about his game. 

Watching the many frustratingly attempt to land their rocket within the designated area I was intrigued.

Hence I walked forward and threw myself head first into the game

Rather peculiarly I picked up the controller for this mobile based game and suddenly found that things were not as easy as they first seemed.

Nikos was telling me how each level was built to progressively challenge the user as they progressed through each level (admittedly mentioning that not all the mechanics were in place yet to make the game a true challenge).



Working my way through the maze of obstacles was by no means an easy task.

What’s Paper Lander even about?

Good question.

You see, it’s my job to save the galaxy from a terrible storm – I as the player, need to collect “Proto-Stars” that have conveniently been scattered throughout the universe in order to power the Great Anti-Storm Ion Cannon.

(Serious stuff)

It’s one of these games that can be seriously addictive if you want to master the game and collect every single protostar. Oh and also there’s lasers too!


This is all well in concept but I wanted to go beyond just the storyline…

Artstyle, influences and the people behind Paper Lander

You may of relised that a major influence in graphical art style was from Little Big Planet, but is it really fair to compare every single paper looking game to the PlayStation title?

Of course not but even the developers have referred to their game as “the grandson of Lunar Lander born in Little Big Planet”.

I had the idea of making a physics based rocket game; initially it started as a sci-fi thing which had influences from Little Big Planet

Delving deeper…

It was interesting to find that the initial prototype of this game started as a sci-fi rocket physics based game which was then later brought to life by the now 3 man team of Nikos, Gabriel and Ciaran.


I was informed that the ongoing development of the game has been on and off throughout the year.

Despite this I saw a game before me with plenty of potential and it seems I wasn’t the only one:

Paper lander was the winner of the Pocket Gamer’s first Big Indie Mixer

As one not to pass up an opportunity to visit one of these Big Indie Mixers I can tell you these events have a wonderful atmosphere complete with developers looking for funding and a panel of distinguished guest judges.

Paper Lander found themselves part of the first of these events and were lucky enough to win the prize pot delegated for the winner.

A year on from their success and they’re still going strong developing out their core mechanics for an expected early 2016 release.


Big Indie Pitch banner taken at the #DevelopConf

Of course, creating a paper based game does have its problems and limitations

It’s Mobile game, there are always limitations on the amount of memory you can use.

With a game as art heavy as this its no wonder why Paper Lander has faced difficulties in the memory department.

In this modern market of mobile games people expect something fast and quick to download, smooth and slick to run, all whilst maintaining high quality and great looking graphics.

In a space where most app stores impose a specific size limit on games made publicly available, it’s an overlooked problem that most devs fail to realize until it comes to publish.


It does beg the question…

Is a game like this suited more for devices such as consoles or PCs?

After all I was using a controller to play this game.

When 35% of the games industry revenue in the US from 2014 was made up of mobile games, it’s certainly no surprise to see developers making the move to mobile first.

After seeing the success of Bethesda’s multi million pound maker Fallout Shelter it won’t be long until this market see’s a whole new wave of developers switching to mobile.

A game like this does bode well for multiple platforms as different types of gamers will see the unique benefit to playing this game on their chosen platform.


After speaking to Nikos it seems there are already plans in place to eventually bring Paper lander to the PS Vita and further from there.

However for now it seems the mobile release will be a benchmark for both interest and expansion.

Are you a fan of Paper Styled games such as Paper Lander?

  • Let me know your thoughts on the game and the genre in general
  • Maybe you too would like to see this game make its way onto multiple platforms?

Regardless the Developer, This Way Up Games would like to receive a quick tweet of your thoughts:

tweet paper lander-01

If this game peeked your interest then you may like to see some of the other things I got up to whilst at the Develop Conference in Brighton.

There are 2 comments

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  1. Jay

    I like the look of this game but I just hope it doesn’t turn into one of those pay to win games that makes it incredibly difficult to get all the fricken coins

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