A Tale of Paper — Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Exploration, Side Scroller
Developer: Open House Studio
Publisher: Open House Studio, Gammera Nest SL
Platform: PS4, PC
Tested on: PS4

A Tale of Paper — Review

Site Score
7.1
Good: beautiful atmosphere/surroundings, easy controls
Bad: frustrating platforming and camera views, no in-game settings
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Explore our world as a small paper boy who magically came to life. Journey through and discover A Tale of Paper which is atmospheric, beautiful, but also dangerous and emotional. Help our origami pal reach the end of his journey in this fascinating, yet frustrating adventure game.

Story

A Tale of Paper is a short game that tries to tell the story of this little paper boy with adorable pointy ears and bright glowing eyes. The game starts off with you waking up as him in the middle of a bedroom floor. Without knowing anything at all about the story, you venture out and explore a messy house and then the rest of the outside world. In the house, no one is in sight but they are clearly getting ready to move out – guessing by all the boxes and clutter lying around. Luckily for us, it’s this clutter and the dozens of cardboard boxes that help us get out of that place easier. Where we’re going is still a mystery, but it’s apparent that our mini origami buddy has a destination set in mind.

Little is known about the story until the very end of the playthrough and even then it’s not exactly clear what the actual story is. The ending is quite metaphoric and it is mostly up to you to have your own interpretation of it. The ending did manage to be sweet and emotional nonetheless.

Graphics

Right off the bat: the environment in this game is breathtaking! Besides the realistic details and textures, it’s the lighting that takes the cake here. Light sources are clearly thoughtfully placed to make it beautifully fall over objects and your surroundings, causing specific areas to brighten up and other places to retract into the shadows. Overall, everything combined makes such a nice contrast to journey through. Since this game is a side scroller, it could’ve been easy to make the game seem flat. We were surprised to see the exact opposite as the visuals are rich in depth. Especially because of the lighting that is used here.

Sound

A Tale of Paper is very atmospheric and most of the scenes are quite serene. So, of course, there is a perfect ambient background track that goes perfectly well with the game. Depending on where you are, the game is mostly melodic and helps you take in the surroundings nicely. It’s not intrusive and very much in the background. It would’ve been great to be able to adjust the volume. The same goes for the sound effects.

Gameplay

A Tale of Paper is an atmospheric adventure-platformer where you have to run through different scenic levels, solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. The game might remind players of indie games such as LIMBO, INSIDE, Contrast, and Little Nightmares because of the side perspective and its gameplay.

Like in the game Contrast, you do not only have to walk around but you also have to transform yourself into other identities to achieve your goals. In A Tale of Paper, you originally play as a little boy made out of paper who can transform himself into different origami figures. These abilities are gained along the way by making progress and they are found on different levels. There are four transformations to be collected and needed to be able to continue on.

The most important ability to have in a platform game is obviously jumping, as you have to jump from platform to platform. This is, of course, the very first ability we learn. As a paper boy, you will already be able to jump, just not that high. By transforming into a frog origami – the new ability you just learned – you can jump higher than you could ever hope for.

Next to the frog origami, the player can play in their original form, or transform into a paper plane to reach further away places by gliding, or transform into a crumpled up piece of paper waste to roll down pipes. The controls for these transformations are made very easy since each ability has its own button and it’s always shown in the left corner of the screen. You can get the hang of it pretty quickly. However, there is this big negative point that makes you want to literally crumble up papers.

As said before, the game is a side scroller. This means that you play the game in a linear manner, from side to side. As mentioned before, A Tale of Paper has more depth than that and because of this you are able to move back and forth in the scenery. This makes jumping onto the next platform a hell of a task. It’s hard to calculate from a side view where you are going to land and it’s immensely frustrating if there isn’t a lot of space to land on and you have to be accurate about it. Especially when that platform isn’t flat or a very active paper-hungry Roomba. It’s even more frustrating that you can not move the camera view on its own to view what is on the other side. The camera field of vision is too narrow. This means that the gap on the other side, for example, comes as a total surprise to you. Resulting in you falling to your death. Since most of the game consists of this, it takes the whole “fun” the experience down.

Conclusion

A Tale of Paper can be a great game that might appeal to the general public since it has an enjoyable ambiance and easy controls. It’s also a pretty game to look at and go through. It might be even perfect for newcomers to puzzle-platforming games to practice their skill set. However, the game is very short and fast to finish if you are an experienced gamer. Sadly, the frustration due to the camera view and the navigation combined can often top the positives of this beautiful game and take the fun out of the experience. Having a setting menu to adjust the camera view, brightness, and audio could make a big difference. Overall, A Tale of Paper is not a bad game as it has great potential but could also definitely use some more polishing when it comes to the actual gameplay.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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A Tale of Paper — Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
JenRox
JenRox


“Keep your friends close, but your memes even closer”.

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