Paper Cut Mansion is a creative and explosive new IP from Thunderful and Space Lizard Studio games that left me a little confused, speechless, and longing for more. However, the mystery behind the execution and simple dungeon crawler gameplay gives a breath of relief to a bloated landscape of established IPs. I remember having early thoughts discussing the project at PAX East back in April with a few developers, and the first thing I noticed was how the team kept conveying that this title was unique in every way.
After gathering my initial thoughts and having played at least three days of early access, I can confirm I want more, and I’m excited about the full release. Of course, there are some flaws and things I hope get addressed and fixed before launch without diving into intense spoilers or touching upon crucial elements. The best way to sum up Paper Cut Mansion is it’s part Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion with sprinkles of survival horror.
Paper Cut Mansion Demo Impression
I can confirm the features that definitely deserve praise are the brilliance and creativity of the art design which is entirely made out of cardboard. In addition to the world, the characters adjust to the narrative, and then the facial expressions match the emotion or mood unfolding through the dialogue. I remember being left in awe when I met the variety and zany cast of characters, and when you listen to the sidequests, it feels like hidden lore is revealed through the simple exposition. I am still a little confused about the various dimensions you can travel to, unlocking new areas, but I feel another playthrough could answer that lingering thought.
Players can pick up on the genius of honoring Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman’s distinctive dark appeal solidifying the structure and foundation. From the musical melodies that play after you finish a level to a locked door with a painted-on face that laughs at you, I know it all sounds insane, but somehow it works, and when the simple RPG gameplay takes the scene is when the game shines at its brightest. Let me explain, so there are badges you can collect which affect a variety of stats from the standard, Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength, and Wit. One last thing to mention is how the items, and marketplace did feel a tad familiar to Bioshock.
Still, the real question is, with certain items being locked by stat requirements, will players follow pre-set guides or create their style. Which, in all reality, is a pretty cool inclusion to flaunt risk and reward to the player to maintain every playthrough from being unique. Though with a start from the beginning death tactic also instructs and demands the player needs to be aware and constantly adjust.
Again the premise and story come off simple, and the only story details I can reveal are that you are a cop named Toby who travels into a mysterious mansion, and you solve various quests and go floor to floor. It’s ironic I still don’t even know what the story truly entails. All I know is that I found a vase for a couple and destroyed a phone harboring old dirty texts and an evil recipe book. Now I wish there were a little more direction, of course, but then again, I was having a blast running around getting used to the controls and taking in the enemy types and how to progress.
Still, I did die a couple of times and noticed that the game and map started to shift and adapt almost among the lines of Returnal on PS5.
So my final thought about the Paper Cut Mansion demo is that it’s a lot of fun and would fit perfectly as a game on the go for Nintendo Switch and even the hardcore PC gamer. I will admit I did get a few fallout vibes with having to think and process my choices, what direction I should take, and which quests I shouldn’t even humor. I do wonder if a story trailer or gameplay will be released, because not having a firm grasp of what the goal does defeats the purpose, and freedom of the sandbox. Other than that I had a blast, and Paper Cut Mansion is pretty cool and feels best to be played around Halloween.
Have you been following Paper Cut Mansion? What do you think of the of the cardboard world? Are you ready to get folded? Let us know what you think and share you thoughts with us on Twitter!