LifeisXbox’s A Tale of Paper: Refolded review | A Tale of Paper is a puzzle platformer that was first released in 2020 on PlayStation 4 and PC, but now the Refolded version bundles a remastered version of the game together with the DLC for players to unfold.
In a Tale of Paper: Refolded, you play as a trio of folded-up little humanoid creatures that want to help their creator with achieving his dreams. To do so, you overcome environmental hazards like water (paper doesn’t like that), heat (even less so) or devious Roombas (who knew!?). It’s up to the player to change shape, origami-style, so you can soar across chasms as an airplane or leap around as a paper frog to reach greater heights.
It’s a promising first game from Spanish developer Open House Games and shows that they are capable of creating interesting titles. We’re already curious about what they will be working on next.
Most Memorable Moment
Fighting the evil Boss Roomba at the end of the game was definitely a highlight. It suddenly added some action to the game and was actually quite challenging at first. I even decided to make a quick video to help people with some instructions and achievements tied to the fight.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by the publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Origami skills | Each of the three characters unlocks two skills as you play and they each help you overcome environmental obstacles as you progress through the game. A box too high to reach? Fold yourself into a frog and leap on top of it. Does a trap door refuse to open? Origami yourself into a weight and smash through.
- Fun puzzles | There aren’t a lot of puzzles in the game, but some of them did manage to make me scratch my head for a while. I solved a simple one with vents on the first try, but then when I got to the audio puzzle from the video below, I had to even call in help from my wife. Apparently, I’m tone-deaf because it was agonizing for me to solve the puzzle on audio cues alone. It did make me realize that there should have been a visual solution as well (notes in different shapes or colours) because this puzzle would be impossible for deaf people to solve. Still getting that solution correct at the end was quite satisfying, so I’ll leave it in the “positives” camp. PS: the video below has the solution in case you need it, wink wink!
- Generous Checkpoints | If you die because you misjudged a jump or simply succumbed to a boss fight, it’s good to know that you will never have to retread a lot of the same ground. A Tale of Paper usually has a checkpoint nearby to avoid too much frustration.
- Foreboding introductions | I liked how the game teases certain encounters before they really happen. As a little paper-human, you sure look tasty to a giant spider and you have to sneak past one way before it will even give chase. Later on, before you face the Roomba boss, you can see it destroying a lesser Roomba, making the inevitable showdown even more stressful.
- The environments look nice | I was surprised to end up in sewers, a forest, and even a space observatory as the game started in what looked like a normal apartment. Though A Tale of Paper does fall into the obvious game-traps of having levels that seem specifically catered to your characters’ abilities. See a bunch of pipes you can’t get through? Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if we learned how to roll up into a ball to get through? And sure enough, each following level is conveniently connected by pipes… It’s a videogame trope we have to learn to ignore.
- 3D platforming | Perhaps my biggest issue with the game is that it looks nice in 3D, but sure doesn’t play well because of it. Gameplay-wise, a lot of levels would have been better off as a 2D side-scrolling game because judging your jumps is incredibly difficult and a lot of thin planks you’ll have to walk are slightly slanted, making it easy to fall off. If I miss a jump 5 times in a row, I usually start thinking it’s the game’s fault for not accurately telling me where I will land.
- The story | or at least what has to pass as a story. I’m very bad at getting subtle clues from environmental storytelling and that is the only kind of narrative you can expect here. There are supposedly clues in the levels that reveal the nature of the three playable paper characters and their human-sized creator, but I really couldn’t figure it out on my own. If anything, the achievement descriptions were the biggest help at figuring anything out.
What we Disliked
- Slow to load | I played A Tale of Paper: Refolded on Xbox Series X, and it doesn’t look like a very demanding game, but simple things like the font in the Title Menu didn’t even load properly and I had to wait a bit to even make out which option was New Game or Continue. The same happens with textures at the start of every level, it takes a good 20 seconds for them to load and that’s not something you’d still expect on next-gen consoles in 2022.
- Losing control | I sadly encountered a list of bugs that brought down my enjoyment of the game. The biggest offender was my controller suddenly becoming unresponsive after dying or at certain parts of the game. I tested other games in between and it only happened here (to eliminate the possibility of it being a hardware-related issue). I informed the developer and publisher of this, so hopefully, this is a bug that will be fixed soon in an upcoming patch.
- Porting issues | from recently playing a few PC games that made it over to consoles, I’ve begun to identify some of the issues as being caused by mistakes made by the porting company, and I fear that has happened again here. The above input issues could be one of them, but near the end of the game I had to unlock a new ability and the visual prompt said “Press B” as that was the button the skill would become assigned to. But because of a mistake, I actually had to press and hold “Y” to unlock it. A simple thing to fix and it hopefully will be rectified soon, as I had reloaded the level twice thinking it was an issue with loading an item. (which was not very fun)
How long to beat the story | Around 3.5 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Give or take ~5 hours thanks to the chapter select.
Please consider supporting us!
Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.