This title is exclusive to PC, and is available via free download here.
The indie and Early Access scene is a graveyard for ideas. With plenty of unfinished games and ideas just left abandoned and unfinished, with it happening so often that players don’t really bat an eye because sadly, we’re pretty much used to it. This preview for It’s Paper Guy is a game in the same boat, being a 10-15 minute experience in 3 months for a challenge, and the devs are uncertain whether or not they’ll expand this into a full game or not. This preview has made me crave a full version of this title, as it is so well executed and charmingly made, and it deserves something more.
The standout of the game has to be the art style. As the title suggests, paper is the main motif, and it’s here in droves. Everything in the game is made out of paper, with the ground being squared paper, and characters and objects being drawn-on paper. The details of these characters and objects are charming and incredibly well done, with a decent amount of detail showing through. The game is in 2.5D as well, so there’s some added depth to the already fantastic graphics here.
The gameplay in It’s Paper Guy is a great extension of the paper art style. From a basic stand point, the game is very simple. You move to the right and solve a few puzzles along the way until you get to the end. However, It’s Paper Guy adds so much to that basic formula that it is nothing short of incredible. The main hook of the game is that since everything is paper, you have the ability to cut the world. This is a simple yet incredible mechanic which adds so much interactivity to the world. Not only can you interact with things you need to interact with, but also background details and other bits of scenery, such as trees.
The puzzles that use this mechanic are also pretty creative as you get into the game. Some are simple, like cutting a rope to open a bridge or clearing debris out of the way. But some do get more creative. A stand out series of puzzles for me was the ones involving the Dog. You find a dog in a kennel as you play, and there’s a sign next to it warning of the angry dog. And sure enough, the dog is there baring its teeth and ready to make you a spit ball. But then you’re able to cut the sign off, allowing the dog to stop being angry, and he even joins your short quest from now on. This similar design also carries on later as well, such as when you reach a town that doesn’t allow dogs, so you simply cut the ‘No Dogs’ sign off, or when you go to buy a water ring but can’t afford it, so you cut the price tag off and get it for free.
Honestly, I found no faults in the gameplay, other than the fact that it is tailored for a younger audience, so some players may find the game too childish or easy. I didn’t mind it however, and I appreciate the design accommodating for younger audiences, while still being engaging for someone older like myself. The other main flaw has to be its length, as it can be beaten in 10 minutes. I can’t really fault it too much though, since it was designed to be that way. I can only hope that they eventually get to making this a full-length experience, as this preview was nothing short of fantastic all round.
The game is rather light on sound effects, but they are decently done, with sounds for cutting having a satisfying thump to them, and the character dialogue having a cute Banjo-Kazooie-esque mumble to it. The music is similarly cutesy, and is well done, albeit not very memorable.
For a 15 minute preview, It’s Paper Guy is phenomenal. The art style is very well done and detailed, and the gameplay works with the paper style perfectly. The world is very interactive thanks to the cutting mechanic, and the puzzles are quite creative and well designed, albeit designed for a younger audience. If you can get past that, I’d recommend checking this out for its superb design. Hopefully, the developers will make this into a fully-fledged game somewhere down the line, as it deserves such a release.