If they weren't addictive them people wouldn't play them. Endless runner games, or free-runners, place you in control of one character that you need to guide through runs, jumps, and other obstacles until you finally can't keep up and you fall in a pit, go off the track, or crash.
Shred It! Papercraft is a sweet endless runner. Snowboarding through changing environments, over valleys and canyons, while avoiding environmental hazards, you'll control one of many characters to collect paperclips which can be used for upgrades as you hit the snow to try to get the highest score possible in one run.
Set against a backdrop of hand-torn paper and origami trees, the characters are made of paper, the boards are made of paper, even the snow is folded lined paper. Good thing they seem to be waterproof.
Shred It! has three different modes to play:
- Endless Slope drops you right onto the powder to get the highest score you can by collecting leaves or snowflakes.
- Checkpoint Challenge is a timed mode where you have to collect leaves or snowflakes to boost the time between snowboarding to checkpoints.
- Zen mode removes all of the obstacles and leaves and such to allow you to infinitely snowboard until you have had enough.
In Endless Slope mode, the main goal is to keep going as long as possible, while trying to get the highest score on the leaderboards. It begins gently, easing you into moving between rocks and fallen branches, gradually increasing in difficulty as you progress, bringing angry bears and chasms into the fold. As you collect special items like golden feathers, a bonus pops up which can be anything from golden leaf piles or gift boxes which contain stickers to collect. Performing tricks on the snowboard as you jump into hoops gives you bonus paperclips.
In Checkpoint Challenge, every ten leaves or snowflakes gives you an extra few seconds on the clock as you race to the next checkpoint. Obstacles are still generated on the course, and you can still collect paperclips to unlock things.
There are a variety of different things to unlock throughout your snowboarding shenanigans. As you begin to stash away paperclips, you can use them to unlock alternate costumes, and boards for your characters. If you don't feel like grinding to fulfill requirements to make new characters available to play, you instead can spend a hefty amount of clips to skip the requirements and unlock immediately.
The menu screen is fiddly to figure out, it's not particularly well optimised, so navigating the screens is difficult. I'm not sure why there seems to be a trend in indie games at the moment to use a cursor in the menu screens, as in my experience, it just doesn't work. You get used to how it wants you to navigate it eventually, but it doesn't feel natural.
Stickers are another unlockable can be picked up during Endless Slope and Checkpoint Challenge and used to complete the Sticker collection for a bonus. Any duplicate stickers you find can be traded in for more clips, to help you unlock some cool new boards. There is also even a Daily Bonus Reward, just for turning the game on!
Shred It is sometimes a little buggy — the animations for the jump aren't seamless, and there have been occasions where the character hasn't landed a jump or has hovered through a large part of the course. These glitches aside, Shred It is great for filling in a few spare minutes and soaking up lots of easy achievements in the process.
- Pick up and play easily
- Gorgeous art style
- Achievements are easy to unlock
- The menus are awkward to navigate
- Bugs can sometimes disrupt your flow
Shred It's simple controls allow for anyone to pick up and play and you'll be having fights for just one more go before you know it.
With a gentle indie soundtrack, and an ever-changing environment, you might lose more time to this than being caught in a time-slip on your way home from the grocery store.
Disclaimer: This review was conducted on Xbox One using a review code provided by Extra Mile Studios