Taking six years to produce by meticulously handcrafting models with paper, there is no denying that Papetura is a true work of art in the aesthetic department. It drops you into its stunning, strange world and immediately lets you fend for yourself and find out how to traverse this odd, alien, papery world. You take control of ultra-charismatic anthropomorphic scroll Pape.
Pape has a prophetic, pictorial briefing from his snaky cat-like pal Tura which shows their world going up in flames. Of course, it is up to you to prevent this from happening, and you do so by solving some unique puzzles that make use of the environments, and indeed Tura, to progress.
The pace of Papetura is glacially slow, including the speed that Pape moves at – but when married to the wonderfully ethereal soundtrack and the fact that you cannot take your eyes off of the sublime visuals for a second, it kind of works. The puzzles are pleasantly varied and enjoyable to play.
Tura can eventually be aimed and fired like a gun to hit objects, and you are able to sling bugs which are used early on to illuminate a series of gossamer-thin paper lamps that open up the way forward. Later on you get to use Tura in different ways, encounter some minigames and are treated to more of the increasingly bizarre world. The only hand holding you get are small pictorial clues and instructions, but nothing here is going to tax most gamers and the whole thing can easily be beaten in under two hours.
The painstaking slowness and lack of high-octane thrills means that this won’t resonate with anyone after a dynamic action platformer. It does have that dark, foreboding sense of dread x-factor that I can remember experiencing when I first played Limbo. The world of Papetura is beautiful but also hostile and dare I say repulsive and with a hint of danger underpinning the whimsical paper construct.
As a piece of art and a display of the talent for design and animation at play, this is something I would wholeheartedly recommend that you experience if you like the quirky avant garde side of gaming. It is short and undemanding, and with controls that have made the leap well to the Switch from its point and click Steam origins.
Soundtrack is excellent
Very slow paced movement