As creators continue to look for different ways to build their game worlds, papercraft’s flimsy nature has become an increasingly popular choice. Whether that be in Paper Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom adventures or, more recently, Media Molecule’s Tearaway, each have dramatically pushed our expectation of what imaginative art direction can achieve. And, in Paper Monsters Recut, developer Mobot Studios cuts, sticks and pieces together their own world constructed with paper and cardboard for players to delightfully explore.
It’s sickeningly adorable, if not quite to the same scale, but succeeds in execution where many others have stumbled. When you aren’t collecting floating buttons and hidden paper clips, players will take joy in bounding along cotton wool clouds, flowers sprouting as you wander past, and neutralised enemies that disappear in sudden puffs of confetti.
Paper Monsters saw initial release across iOS, Android and Windows Phone, with the Paper Monsters Recut iteration last year leaping across to PC and Wii U. Although, through incredibly responsive controls, you’d otherwise never suspect the platformer’s mobile origins. Aside from directional input, moving Recut’s silent cardboard hero will only require that you make use of two buttons to run and jump which makes the experience all the more accessible.
Mobot continually finds new ways to spur the fun you’ll have, whether that be warping you to space, sliding around on a sleigh, or equipping you with a laser and jetpack. That’s only heightened when you find yourself placed behind the wheel of a moon buggy, submarine and helicopter, remarkably reinventing itself at every turn to keep the experience a surprise throughout.
While Recut’s simplicity can be seen as a strength for younger players that will inevitably be drawn toward its cutesy demeanour, it also results in an experience that can be beaten all too quickly. Thankfully longevity can be found not only in returning to collect any missed paperclips and golden buttons, but there are secret levels and bonus mini-games awaiting discovery.
Mobot also makes a concerted effort to put the Wii U GamePad to use, allowing you to warp between locations on the overworld or track your highscore and gathered collectables on levels that you’ve completed. Off-TV Play is similarly present, for whenever you find yourself denied use of the TV screen.
With a playful roar, Paper Monsters Recut proves itself another experience on the Nintendo eShop worthy of your time. Aspects detract from the unrivalled joy that it variably achieves, but Paperworld’s charm proves a steal.