Dreams take you on a journey where your mind and imagination are the only limiting factor. Consequently, they can be wild experiences that are beautiful or terrifying. As such, you never know what you’ll see, and this is part of the magic. A Tale of Paper: Refolded aims to replicate this feeling in its surreal and unusual gameplay.
Developed by Open House Games/No Moss and published by Digerati, this is an adventure platform title. Moreover, the gameplay is very similar to Little Nightmares and Limbo and will be a hit with those fans. However, word of warning, it is a concise title that is so good that you won’t want it to end.
A Tale of Paper: Refolded combines surrealism with everyday normality.
Now, placing unusual moments into everyday situations is harder said than done. These normally juxtaposed moments are tough to comprehend and are often jarring. Yet, A Tale of Paper: Refolded executes this perfectly in its dreamy and often bizarre story. You’ll experience some touching scenes, while also being terrified by vast monsters and claustrophobic spaces.
You control a paper man called Line. This once-ordinary origami creation must undertake an adventure to transcend his owner’s dreams. By learning new abilities and exploring his surroundings, Line will enjoy a beautiful and occasionally horrific journey. With dangers at every turn and puzzles to solve, you must think logically and methodically if you wish to proceed.
New abilities and everyday enemies.
What I loved most about A Tale of Paper: Refolded was the familiarity of every trial and tribulation. The things that we all take for granted are obstacles and issues for our paper hero. A robotic hoover sees you as a danger, and household pests become gargantuan monsters. On top of this, water is a major issue that must be avoided at all costs. Of course, there are also tight spaces to be navigated and interesting puzzles to overcome. You’ll contend with the usual chasms to leap and some observational puzzles must be solved. In short, it offers some degree of difficulty across its short game time.
Alongside these standard mechanics were some excellent drip-fed game-changing elements. Line’s inability to traverse tight spaces or jump gaps soon becomes a thing of the past. As you progress, new abilities are absorbed from your surroundings. In the beginning, he uses electrical power to telekinetically remove screws and other obstacles. Soon, though, your roster of skills expands. You’ll leap like a frog, roll like a ball of paper, and soar through the air like a rocket. This was phenomenal, as not only was it fun, but it formed the key component of many of the puzzles.
As such, the new mechanics were not overbearing. Instead, they were enjoyable to play with and opened up the gameplay nicely. Whether it was leaping across broken stairs, rolling down pipes, unlocking grates, or flying through the air, it was interesting to experience.
A Tale of Paper: Refolded looks amazing.
It was easy to admire the mechanics of A Tale of Paper: Refolded. However, I was struck by how fantastic it looked. From the off, you’ll love how the magic is intertwined with the ordinary imagery. Because of the standard setting, the surreal moments stick out like a sore thumb. Whether it was the glow of your powers, the transformation between forms, or the larger-than-life objects, it all looks amazing. Then, there are the tight spaces that add tension and drama. Being chased through tunnels and past chasms is uncomfortable but brilliant. On top of this, you must risk it all by balancing high in the air or jumping across flooded rooms.
Yet, for all of its greatness, its camera angles were frustrating! With so many confined areas to explore, it can be hard to navigate. This was compounded when you were crossing narrow pathways. With no ability to adjust the camera, you’d fall to your death repeatedly. This was disappointing and frustrating as it undermines the rest of the action.
My disappointment was short-lived, as the audio was incredible. The stunning soundscape is atmospheric and emotive. What’s more, it adds to the surreal theme with little effort. Alongside this, there are some fantastic sound effects that emphasise the real-to-life setting. What I also enjoyed was the change of pace between dramatic and calm moments. The developers have created the perfect experience, and I loved the variety of music in every chapter.
Though the camera angle was frustrating, the fluid controls mitigated this issue. Changing form and moving around was reactive, smooth, and great fun. I loved how easy it was to learn the fundamentals and how intuitive the setup was. Furthermore, thanks to the well-labelled UI, you’ll remember what you need to do with little effort.
A Tale of Paper: Refolded has one major problem, it isn’t long enough! If the puzzles don’t test you, you can fly through it in around 2 hours. Unfortunately, this is not long enough even for a small indie title. Disappointingly, you are just getting into the swing of things and the game ends. Consequently, you’ll be left wanting, as there are many paths that should be taken.
Because of its length, the developers have left themselves open to unwanted criticism. When your game is so good, like this one, you want people to adore it. However, many complaints focus on the lack of game time without highlighting its many positives.
A Tale of Paper: Refolded short but well worth it.
I can’t overlook its minuscule game time. Yet, I can admire everything else it offers. Yes, the camera angle was annoying, but it wasn’t enough to put me off. If more content was added and further chapters created, this would be a top indie title for 2022. But, at the moment, my only complaint is it’s not long enough. However, I enjoyed it, nonetheless, and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you complete your journey and transcend your owner’s dreams? Change form, avoid your foes, solve the puzzles, and finish your surreal journey.