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Paper Trail Review

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Folding paper was one of the very first things I learned. Shown by a kindly uncle, there was wonder as a humble piece of A4 could turn into a mighty aeroplane, soaring through the air with just a few folds and presses. And whilst my own childhood paper folding didn’t progress further than that, others are capable of making something impressive through the power of origami; it’s an admirable skill to learn. 

Paper Trail is all about that paper folding, as you make something new in this beautiful and unique puzzle game. 

Paper Trail review 1
Ready to get folding?

Paper Trail from Newfangled Games puts you in the shoes of Paige who works her way from her small village to university, covering a journey across many different locations. The story is sweetly simple but also full of great characters and warm sentiments along the way. 

The gameplay mechanic is the main focus of the game and it doesn’t disappoint at all. Paper Trail is a top-down puzzler and with each level you’ll find a broken path that Paige must find a way through. It’s in the putting together of that path where the page-turning takes place. 

It’s here where you’ll look to grab pieces of the map, picking up from the four sides or four corners of the map. And then, by folding the page in a certain way you can make a path, fixing any gaps, making it whole again so Paige can walk across. At first, this is the simple way of doing things, but before you know it the chapters unfold and Paper Trail gets a lot more challenging. You’ll need to operate boulders with switches and try to work with forming patterns. There’s no doubt that it will make your head hurt at times and it does require a lot of thinking, but that’s a damn good thing for a puzzle game. 

Paper Trail review 2
Manipulate the map and you’ll get through

In Paper Trail you can take in hints too, giving clues about what to do with the folding. The problem and major dilemma is to try and stop using it on all the puzzles. I personally found it all too tempting to make the most of, even when only slightly confused; only those with the strongest willpower will not be tempted. I would also maybe like the option of having an undo button, as I got myself in trouble at times, preferring to go back a few steps to undo my stupidness. 

There is a gorgeous art style in Paper Trail; one that has a perfect blend of cutesy design and a hand-drawn feel to it. The colours are beautiful and really pop on the screen and it works a neat visual design in how different levels on the screen change through the folding mechanic. It’s a very clever game. 

Adding to the wonderful visuals is some music by Claudie Mackula who delivers an emotional and lovely score full of whimsy and sadness. Again, it works perfectly with the game tone and feel. 

Paper Trail review 3
A simple puzzler that get tricky

Paper Trail is one of those puzzle games that you’ll think you can get the hang of, capable of completing it in an hour. But you’d be wrong as the initially simple setup is very deceiving and the more the game moves forward the trickier the puzzles get to solve. I could have done without the hint mechanic as it becomes too tempting, but there’s much to love here, especially in the way the visuals, storytelling and soundscore come together. 

Paper Trail is so good it’ll make you want to go creating paper planes again…  

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great gameplay mechanic
  • Lovely visuals
  • Superb soundscore
Cons:
  • The hint button is far too tempting
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Newfangled Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch
  • Release date and price - 21 May 2024 | £16.24
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great gameplay mechanic</li> <li>Lovely visuals</li> <li>Superb soundscore</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>The hint button is far too tempting<li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Newfangled Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch <li>Release date and price - 21 May 2024 | £16.24</li> </ul>Paper Trail Review
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