Papetura is a bit of a love letter to old school adventures games, takingthe concept of finding items to interact with other items and presenting it in a short, but very sweet, fashion. It’s over before we know it, but what’s here is an enjoyable adventure worth checking out.
The most immediately striking aspect of Papetura is it’s art style. Crafted entirely out of handmade paper models digitised, it lends the game an almost otherworldly charm. It looks at once realistic and fantastical, embued with digital lighting and effects that ground the models in the world brilliantly. Animation is equally good with a heavy stop motion look and feel to things.
Outside of the impressive style things are a little more standard. We control Pape and Tura as they try to prevent their home form burning down. Papetura follow the Limbo method of showing not telling, and for the most part the story – brief though it is – is presented well in a minimal fashion, though we must admit we only got the above synopsis from the store page afterwards.
Doing so involves moving about the confined spaces collecting items to give to others who in turn help us progress. Across the approximately 90 minutes it took to complete, the challenge was pitched about right, with obvious answers balanced out with the scenery’s ability to hide a pathway to give us a few moments pause.
There are a few clever moments that turn things on it’s head – we’re taught to use Tura’s projectile attack to solve some puzzles, but one forces us to rethink our approach – but for the most part it’s a case of find item, give item, door opens, continue. It’s simple but effective for what Papetura is trying to achieve, and we came away from the game having had a rather enjoyable 90 minutes.
In fact, while we’re big fans of shorter indie titles here, we do feel that Papetura could have used just a fraction more runtime. As it is, it feels we end just as we’re about to get going. But, we guess leaving us wanting more is better than wearing out your welcome, and Papetura is in no danger of that.
A short and sweet puzzler that wows with its aesthetic while keeping us entertained with some simple but effective challenges. It’s all over a bit too soon, but don’t let that put you off checking it out.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.