Paper Trail | Fold the way! | Nintendo Switch Review.

Thursday 30 May 2024

Publisher: Newfangled Games
Developer: Newfangled Games
Nintendo Switch Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game for PS4 in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

As a kid I loved folding paper and making creations with it, given I was no master of origami but I loved making storybooks with paper that you could unfold and show more of the story, in fact I still have a few of these from my childhood tucked away along with some of my toys and Barbies. Paper Trail has a similar vibe to those storybooks I made, it's pretty interesting as each fold reveals another part of the map, each fold shows a beautifully put together piece of art that could lead to answers or a dead end.

Setting off on an adventure to change her life, Paige our protagonist wants to go to university, she wants to make something of her life and so she sets off on a long journey to start her first semester, but there is a snag, she must find a way to continue her path whilst mastering her powers But don't be afraid she gets help a long the way from some very interesting characters who help her find the paths she must go on. I was pretty excited to get stuck in if i'm honest, the art style is very much my aesthetic and the concept stood out to me immediately.

The idea of folding over parts of the scene your character is part of whilst trying to workout what moves to make next was a very unique and clever concept, especially when you had to move parts of the scene as well as Paige in order to fold the scene the correct way. It\s no secret how bad I'm at puzzle games, it takes me a while to get my head around puzzles because my concentration isn't the best and Paper Trail was no exception, i was about half through the game when it start to click in my head. I know others will find it a lot easier but some of us are just not that switched on when it comes to working out puzzles.

The main menu offers several options Accessibility features are included, you can choose switch on and off 5 different options which are; Low-Motion camera, show grid, reduced flashing, text animation and camera shake. I use the last 2 options mentioned, I have also tried the grid option, it helps a lot with focus and movement but I do well without it and ended up turning it off. You can access world select, origami, these are collectables in the game, settings and the journal. The journal is a great feature, it allows players to look back on the journey Paige has already taken, if you've been away from the game a little while you can just take a peek at it and refresh your memory.

The characters spoke in muddled gibberish language which made me laugh but the game was in subtitles which revealed what the characters were actually saying. I love when games do this because you can add any kind of noise to a characters voice and still make it work, it reminds me a lot of the Sims and Animal Crossing in that aspect. The use of sound is both haunting and cosy, You can hear music playing softly in the distance whilst the sound of torches in the current scene are crackling away

As i said before the aesthetic is very much my kind of style, the developers over at Newfangled Games made use of flat styles, from what I've read they used printmaking and watercolour in order to further reinforce the paper theme. On top of that they use clean monochrome designs which look a lot like they could be from a collage cut out. From how the describe it, it reminds me of when my sister was doing fashion at college, her artwork and designs were a very similar concept. 

There is something I have to admit, I used the hint system far more than I thought i would, sometimes I just couldn't see what was right in front of my eyes making me leave the game for a few hours after but always needing to come back as I was hooked. The hint system doesn't exactly solve the puzzle, more so gives you a nudge in the right way to fold the scenes, the rest is up to you, the puzzles I struggled with most were how best to move boulders on to buttons, there was a lot of back and forth and once it was solved you can see just how obvious the moves actually were, it just takes practice.

Paige is easy to resonate with, she doesn't want to be trapped where she grew up forever, she wants bigger and better things for herself and there is nothing wrong with that. She starts to go on a journey for her own path and realises it's ok for others to help her along the way, it's one of those old age life lessons that I and many people probably have been through. On the surface Paper Trail seems like a pretty simplistic and easy game but under all that its a beautifully constructed puzzle game.

Have a cosy day


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