REVIEW | Paper Cut Mansion

REVIEW | Paper Cut Mansion

LifeisXbox’s Paper Cut Mansion Review | Down a winding road, you start as you traverse the path towards a spooky mansion where you get sucked deep into the mysteries of the mansion ahead. Developed by Space Lizard Studio for Thunderful Games while being published by comes Paper Cut Mansion where you play as a police detective as you collect the evidence to unravel the mystery behind the title mansion. Paper Cut Mansion works as a perma-death rogue-lite game whereby when you die you have to start from the very beginning again – on floor 1, where you retain all the abilities you earn in the form of equipment cards and all the evidence pieces you uncover. 

Paper Cut Mansion has three zones on each floor; Neo Cortex whereby you check objects to unearth gold, evidence pieces and clues to unlocking doors. The danger here being the ghosts that appear every so often when searching objects (more on these below) and booby traps. There is also a Reptilian Complex where you get a gun and the object is to shoot/slash enemies to death and avoid getting hit. Finally, the Limbic System where it is very cold and you gradually lose heat over time but can regain this in rooms with NPCs are based.

Now we will tell you whether this game ‘board’ us to death?!

Most Memorable Moment

When I walked on the opening path up to the mansion whereby this whole game takes place within and I was treated to the opening musical number accompanying the title card which took me by complete surprise and it was a really good way of starting the experience.

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.

What we Liked!

  • Musical Numbers | What gave me a really pleasant surprise was the musical numbers that proceeded every time a floor was completed. The songs were very catchy and provided a chunk of story elements which helped the narrative as they went along. This is very much needed as Toby the main character does not speak himself to provide further context and many NPCs are purely there for just quest-giving.
  • Procedural Generated Environments | Paper Cut Mansion has been developed so each playthrough is slightly different on playing, whether that is differing puzzles to complete to unlock doors, new objects to search, Ghosts randomly spawning in different places, differing enemies to defeat etc. It keeps what could be a very boring experience that much fresher and makes every playthrough unique.

Mixed Feelings

  • The Differing Zones | Whilst completing floors of the mansion players must complete tasks in all three zones mentioned. This is a good way of adding variety to Paper Cut Mansion and testing multiple skill bases, whether that be shooting enemies or completing puzzles and unlocking doors. Sadly on the other side to this, all of the zones are easy to beat. Ghosts and traps are both easy to avoid, the coldness of the Limbic System is easily beaten by frequenting and talking to NPCs to regain all the lost heat, and enemies in the Reptilian Complex are easy to beat as below I delve deeper into this. I wish the areas were much tougher the game isn’t as reliant on death by a thousand blows or being very unlucky however the variety of the three zones is very welcome and prevented it from being boring.
  • The cardboard/paper look | As is the title of Paper Cut Mansion, it was obviously the look the developers were going for with the cardboard design of the characters, level design, and objects. I appreciate the style and the effort they made to make the choice they made as it’s consistent in the game’s design. Sadly, I don’t like the look. Some people may think differently and may like the look of the game as a whole but for me, I didn’t personally like it. I think it was the overly simplistic, drawn-on look that I didn’t appreciate more than anything else. I think certain things like the enemy design and the main character in particular but even with that in mind, I would have preferred more detail.

What we Disliked

  • Shortness of floors/completion | In order to beat the floor and get down to the next floor you have to complete the mandatory quests given. This is usually finding the talking door and doing a task for the final NPC on the floor. Each floor takes about 30 minutes (slightly more if you do all the side quests) to complete and with only 6 floors to complete it means it’s not long to beat in one sitting. They have tried to flesh out Paper Cut Mansionby including 27 endings but bigger floors would have allowed us to flesh out Paper Cut Mansion and more floors to beat would have made the overall game time longer. 
  • Combat | The combat in the Reptilian Complex is very easy provided you have enough room to retreat as the key to succeeding in this is shooting a few rounds and jumping back a few yards, then copying until each enemy is defeated; rather simple. The only enemy that bucks the trend is the ‘Hat Man’ whom shoots back and carries grenades with a decent amount of area damage. Possibly what was needed was more variety of enemies which had more than just melee attacks, speedier enemies or enemies with a decent amount of ranged power would have sufficed.
  • Easy to get lost | Despite the shortness of the floors and how quickly you can beat a floor and go down the trap door to the next one, the compass they give you is useless and you can find yourself going from room to room, not being able to find the NPC or item that you require to advance. I would have suggested a map feature which lights the parts of the map you have travelled as you go along the floor. This would indicate what parts of the floor you have already traversed and as a result, you don’t keep entering areas you have already been to. By lighting up these areas and keeping the rest hidden it also doesn’t spoil the surprise when you enter new areas and promotes exploration.
  • Ghosts in Neo Cortex | The Ghosts are the main trap of the Neo Cortex part of Paper Cut Mansion and, whilst on first offering they offer a shock and surprise, they offer little threat as they don’t have much speed. You are supposed to run away as fast as you can to avoid them but you can simply run around an object like a table again and again until the timer runs out and they disappear. If they were more of a threat by being quicker and you had to think your way past them rather than run slightly quicker around one object then they would be more terrifying beyond the first reveal.

How long to beat the story | Around 3 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Around 30+ Hours


Paper Cut Mansion is an attempt at the rogue-lite genre of games which has seen a major increase in popularity of late. However, sadly, there are better offerings on the market currently. There are a few good points to the title but they are overshadowed mainly by the lack of a challenge for a lot of the time. This challenge is strengthened slightly by the fact that it’s perma-death so if you die by any means – whether it’s by traps/ghosts, being attacked or by the cold then you start over again from the start. Again, I believe other titles in the same genre tackle this concept better.

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