Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM – Review
Follow Genre: horror adventure
Developer: Cellar Vault Games
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Tested on: PC

Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM – Review

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Good: Great art style, Concise horror story
Bad: No replayability
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Today we’re taking a look at Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM. This short horror experience by Cellar Vault Games launched back in September of 2020, so it’s not exactly a recent title by any means. However, the devs have been promoting it a fair bit since they’re working on a new game titled Paper Ghost Stories: Third Eye Open. As the title would have you deduce, this coming release will be part of the same anthology and it will be a standard six-hour game compared to the short story we get in 7PM. That does mean this is the perfect time to see if we can get some decent frights from Cellar Vault Games’ first attempt at Malaysian paper-themed horror, just so we know what to expect in its follow-up.


Both the Paper Ghost Stories are greatly inspired by Malaysian culture and myth, something which comes back in the setting but also in the dialogue and folk-inspired horror. This game opens with a group of children being told a rumor by an old lady. A new family recently moved into the apartment complex they all live in, but nobody has seen much of them since they stay inside all day and yell at anybody who comes by. Apparently, they also have a young son who keeps waving at somebody (or something) out of the window, even though nobody is there. You play the game as a girl named Wen who still wants to try and befriend the new family, even after hearing the story, but she finds there is a more sinister, paranormal reason why these people never leave their apartment.

With its short length, 7PM tells a very simple, perhaps cliché ghost story but it’s still enjoyable to have the suspense slowly build as you figure out what exactly haunts the apartment. There is also a lot of additional plot you can get by talking to characters.


From just a glance you can tell this game has a very unique graphic style. Combining 2D elements with 3D environments is nothing new, but Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM still managed to approach it in its own special way. Everything and everybody seems to be made out of paper cutouts, though the locations have a lot of depth to them. And you shouldn’t let this style fool you into thinking the game isn’t scary either: thanks to its clever lighting and camera work it can definitely ramp up the atmosphere. This style also shows remarkable attention to detail, such as the dialogue being shown on a lined notebook paper background and the icons that tell you what you can interact with being hand-drawn. It all visually ties together very nicely.


We also can’t complain about the sound design here. 7PM has some good background music, from the traditional instruments making up the daytime soundtrack to the tense music that haunts you at night. What manages to stand out though are the sound effects. As you walk around during the day, you’ll constantly hear background noises like people talking, birds going about their lives, or cars in the distance. It adds an element of realism and liveliness to the busy apartment complex you live in. It also makes it even more jarring when it’s night and all that sound suddenly vanishes. The game goes not have any voice acting, so be prepared to do some serious reading.


Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM is a pretty standard horror adventure game, though it does have some fun little minigames if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Playing as Wen, you’ll be walking around the apartment complex to get to the bottom of the haunted family’s mystery. The game makes it easy for you by keeping track of your goals as if they were quests, and there are also several completely optional sidequests to do if you want to get some extra lore from other characters living around the apartment. You’ll be spending a lot of time talking to people, with dialogue options offering some variety and player input.

The game has simple puzzles which are mostly solved by finding and picking up the right item and using them where you need to. Minigames such as cooking and other interactive scenes require you to use the mouse which makes things a bit more interesting. For example, to open a door you’ll need to click and drag. During chase scenes, you’ll also need to do quick-time events. Overall though, it seems the game focuses more on setting up an interesting story and showing off the developer’s unique art style rather than giving us compelling gameplay, neither of which is a bad thing.

One thing to keep in mind is that 7PM is a very short experience. Even when you try to complete all the sidequests and exhaust all the dialogue, you won’t be spending more than an hour tops on this game. There’s also very little reason to replay the game, unless you care about achievements. This is reflected in the price though since it’s a cheap game too, mostly meant to be a test run, as the devs are now looking to focus on longer projects.


Paper Ghost Stories: 7PM is a short but interesting game that feels soaked through with Malaysian culture and some decent scares. It stands out for its art style alone, but the story isn’t bad despite being pretty formulaic, and you definitely won’t regret having played it when you’re done. If nothing else, it makes us excited for what’s to come!

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