Published on May 23rd, 2024 | by Nay Clark

Paper Trail Review (Switch)

Paper Trail Review (Switch) Nay Clark

Summary: Paper Trail is an endearing and unique puzzle adventure where you MUST fold under pressure.


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Paper Trail is a top-down puzzle adventure game developed and published by Newfangled Games and released on May 21st of 2024. Paper Trail is set in a world made of paper. You rip through each page by folding the border of your environment to shove statues, fix broken bridges, and activate light beams. It will take a lot of perseverance to figure out how the thin layered land should be creased in order to continue your journey. Travel with the determined Paige as she sets off on an expedition to discover herself and find her place in the world while recalling memories from the past and leaving behind a paper trail of her own.

Paige is an 18 year old aspiring astrophysicist who ventures into the unknown, much to her parents’ dismay, to study at a university. Leaving her comfortable life in a small village comes with ease as she is insistent and adheres to her goals. Her swift pace is quickly torn by obstacles blocking her path and people needing her assistance. Paige uses her origami abilities to take control of her destiny and shifts the world to her desires in order to get one step closer toward her objective. Help Paige fold, bend, and create her own trail through ruin filled caves, frog infested riverbeds, and mystifying tree lines.

The story is enjoyable, tender, and meaningful and while Paige is selfless, the game does a good job at showing her resolve. Paige has a journal that she writes in and her narration between levels fleshes out the tale. Paper Trail is a sweet coming of age story about recognizing happiness through sorrow, how to distribute courage, and leaving the past in the past and looking ahead toward the future. Other characters met on your journey speak a buoyant gibberish language and they either help you throughout the game with words of wisdom or possibly thwart your plans depending on how you want to look at it.

Gameplay sees you looking at your stationary world with a fresh pair of eyes. You control Paige and can only walk around, but by bending the sides of the levels, you can create new pathways and open up previously congested alleys. Folding the levels by its sides and corners and bringing what’s on the back of it to the front where Paige is, dispenses a whole new way of playing. Making the environment a puzzle on its own is creative and amusing. The game teaches you on what to expect and how to deal with the various perplexing problems.

Sometimes you’ll come up to a number block that can only be crossed when another number block of the same number sits next to it. Folding the level a certain way may bring that number block next to the other one, creating a little bridge for you to cross. Or you may need to connect two of the same block just so you can stand on one of the blocks so you have more room to fold the level a particular way. You can’t wrap the parchment over statues so you have to figure out a way to move them. You can stand on certain levitating blocks and be moved in a certain direction, but there’s also levitating blocks that won’t move if you are standing on them. Two different parts of the level may need to be folded at the same time to create a warp door between two points. There are many variables and factors to consider before attempting the maze-like kaleidoscopic levels.

A cool feature the game has is that at any time, you can pull up a screen that shows you the steps in which you need to fold your environment in order to pass. It is incredibly useful if you ever find yourself stuck and even though it shows you the folds you need to do and in what order, you still need to figure out where to place Paige and other articles within your sheeted confinement. Strictly using this feature will sometimes get you stuck and you’ll have to work backwards to recuperate. Hidden throughout the levels are little secret origami animals. Finding them isn’t so tough since at any time, you can press a button to fully look at the backside of the area you occupy, but actually reaching them is another story. Sometimes you really have to go out of your way to crumple up a stage to reach these invaluable treasures.

Graphically, the game looks distinct and charming. The characters’ bold colors are expressive and make them stand out.  The charismatic allure of the levels communicates a sense of awe as you continually curve them at their seams. The painterly, cartoonish, paper mache design of everything helps evoke a state of innocence that gets borrowed by the story. The style letterheads the tone and gravitates you between a state of satisfaction and exuberance.

Paper Trail usually has soft relaxing music playing in the background. The music and singing has an adventurous flair to them as piano keys staccato in the distance and violin strings strum at a steady pace. The sound of folded starch paper never gets old and only drives you forward to partake in more crunching of crispy corners. Halfway through level seven, the audio randomly cut out, but completing the level fixed my issue. Other than that, The audio design here in Paper Trail is enthusiastic and impressive.

Paper Trail is a lovely game that handles personal feelings and emotions in a thoughtful and inventive way. The puzzles are creative and rewarding to complete even if the later ones require a massive amount of thinking power. Pleasant graphics and encouraging music invents a comfortable world to play in. I could never imagine what would be around my next turn given how each new level became more creative than the last. This paper trail is a trail worth ambling.

About the Author

Gaming holds a special place in my heart and I never stop talking about video games. I really love all types of games and have an interest in games that have complicated stories and lore because I enjoy untangling the mystery of it all. When I'm not gaming, I unsuccessfully try to control three amazing and incredibly bright kids.

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