Tic tac toe, Battleship, Connect 4, and Gomoku all on offer.
If you’ve been seeking connection in a world of remote learning and work, Papergames.io might be an option to brighten your day, if only for a few moments.
This game allows you to quickly jump in and play: You simply need to click the game you want to play and hit “Find Opponent” after creating a quick username. Alternatively, you can challenge a friend (give them the room number to join) or create a tournament with a private link.
Privacy tip: When setting up a name use a generic name and not one close to your real name or tied to usernames you use elsewhere. The site won’t ask for any additional information.
One-on-one matches of games like Connect 4 and Tic Tac Toe go about as you would expect. They’re often very fast and easy to jump in and out of games. We ran an eight person Connect 4 tournament in about 30 minutes – this was just enough time to feel connected with others while not intruding too much into anyone’s day. The set-up was seamless and few had any problems joining our tournament.
Where Papergames.io struggles, however, is that it seemingly requires a near constant Internet connection. Even a momentary break, hiccup, or stutter will boot players from the game and/or tournament. In the default tournament settings a player who disconnects gets penalized points in the tourney – this was frustrating to multiple players and we weren’t able to do anything in that round.
In a game of Battleship, it was clear my partner had disconnected, but the game had a noticeable lag, allowing me multiple turns in circumstances it wouldn’t otherwise enable me. Effectively, the server knew my partner had disconnected, but it delayed providing me that information, allowing me to play against the void for a couple minutes.
This is unfortunate as Battleship is the stand-out game in the collection. To begin with, Battleship is a more involved affair than the other games: There’s a level of longer term thinking and strategy that isn’t present in quite the same way as the others. While ultimately all four of these games are about position, Battleship plays the long game (where Tic Tac Toe plays the fast game), allowing time to think and process.
This version of Battleship comes chock full of power-ups as well, iterating on the classic game, rather than just replicating. Devastating bombs of various sides can reveal nearly all of your ships if placed with luck. It’s possible to see half your fleet fall in a single turn. The game allows you to chase these power-ups while also building up your collection organically. There’s a risk/reward element not native to the tabletop version and this actively feels like an improvement upon the original.
Your mileage will vary with this one: Papergames.io is a perfectly competent way to set up a remote play session of quick and easy to play games. If you can accept the occasional glitch and a non-existent policy on tracking cookies it’s a fun jaunt for fits and bursts of time. If you’ve never been a fan of any of these games, however, Papergames.io will do little to win you over.