‘Paper Trail’ Game Review: A Page Turner In Every Sense

Paper Trail is a top-down puzzle adventure about leaving home, set in a foldable, paper world. You play as Paige, a budding academic, leaving home for the first time to pursue her studies. On the journey, you learn to fold the world, merging two sides to solve puzzles, explore new areas and uncover long-lost secrets.

Developed by: Newfangled Games

Played on: Steam

Length: 7 hours

For the past decade, puzzle games have remained one of the most creatively enriching genres in gaming, with indie games constantly pushing the boundaries of what we define as a game mechanic. From the mind-bending logic puzzles of Cocoon and Baba Is You, to the more wholesome varieties of Unpacking and A Little To The Left; Paper Trail falls nicely in the middle with its heartwarming story and genuinely brow-furrowing paper folding puzzles.

The goal of the game is to bring Paige from one page (ba dum tss) to the next by folding the world around her. What begins as a unique but otherwise simple premise, becomes tricky in a hurry. For starters, each piece of paper can be folded from its sides or its corners. You can fold a tiny bit of the paper, or you can fold it all the way.

However, once you’ve folded up a piece of the world, you can no longer access it until it is unfolded. Not everything can be folded over either, so you have navigate around obstacles like boulders, statues, and oftentimes Paige herself. And just when you think you’ve got it down, you enter a new area with new mechanics and your journey begins all over again.

I find that Paper Trail scratches a part of the brain that rarely gets used. It sort of reminds me of designing flatlays for boxes, and challenge of trying to build something that only exists in your head. The game does offer a little assistance by allowing you to see what’s on the flip side of the sheet, but it still leads to plenty of head scratching moments that fans of puzzle game will love.

And if you’re completely stuck, the game also has an interesting approach to its Hint system. Instead of giving you the solution outright, the Hint plays through the sequence of paper folds, which allows you to double check what you’ve done so far and give you a small nudge on what to do next.

Accompanying its delightful gameplay are bits of story told through foldable cutscenes, paired with heartfelt voice acting by Angel Haven Rey that brings Paige’s character to life. While its story doesn’t take up a huge part of the overall game, I found myself looking forward to the end of each level just to experience a little more of it.

The cherry on top of the paper castle is its beautiful soundtrack by Claudie Mackula, combined with subtle paper folding and nature ambience, provides a hauntingly beautiful soundscape to an already serene experience.

There is one caveat about Paper Trail, and that is its price. For around 7 hours of gameplay time, RM49 is a little steep. However, if you happen to have a Netflix subscription, the game is available in the Netflix Games catalog on mobile or tablet. See you in Southfold!

Verdict: One of the most original puzzle games of the year

Paper Trail is a unique concept executed to the crisp perfection of a neatly folded piece of paper. Like some of my favourite puzzle games of the last decade, the game excels in exploring a simple mechanic to the fullest; all while presenting gorgeous graphics, a heartwarming story, and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack to boot. Easily one of the most original and satisfying puzzle games of the year so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

‘Promise Mascot Agency’ Is An Open World Mascot Management Crime Drama

‘Promise Mascot Agency’ Is An Open World Mascot Management Crime Drama

Award winning independent game studio Kaizen Game Works, the studio behind

FV Major 2024 Becomes Qualifying Tournament For SNK World Championship 2025

FV Major 2024 Becomes Qualifying Tournament For SNK World Championship 2025

FV Major 2024, the biggest fighting games event in Malaysia, is now a qualifying

You May Also Like