Paper Cut Mansion < Switch < Full Review < Video Game Review < Nintendo Power
An offensive title?
The story is quite simple. At least, that’s what we think at first glance. You play as a man, get out of a car and walk down a path that leads to a large building. This one is big, rickety, full of weird noises… and especially the closed door you’re locked in, with only (at least what you think it is) a skeleton talking and telling you that a he is a door it’s also scary to speak. But to move forward, it will be necessary to solve its puzzle. Mysterious? Yes, absolutely, especially since the game will directly immerse you in the environment without any other means of testing, tutorials or other precautions.
For the rest, the game has all the characteristics of the genre: you will die and return to the beginning, by understanding a few mechanics of the game, by finding some upgrades, and by advancing or not, and go through the damn conversation. door and change the floor. This is, you might imagine, just the first in a long line. But he was not alone. Within your level you will find portals, like tears in the walls, that will take you to other places. Or rather towards other truths. The switch allows you to recover weapons, to unlock elements or simply to advance through the various puzzles on offer. Because yes, Paper Cut Mansion is not just a roguelike, it also features escape game mechanics.
Dig, Explore, Repeat
The course of a run is pretty simple: you’re pushed through the mansion through levels locked with padlocks and puzzles. The plot is your only friend there. He first informs you that the big green butterfly with you acts as an indicator: if it lands on a wall, you will need to search the room. Be careful though, the teasing insect won’t necessarily land next to the element in question. Then you have to open the doors in the darkness of a new room. It only lights up once you’ve crossed the threshold, which adds a unique thrill, but also a sense of dread to the adventure. Who knows what creature is waiting to jump out at you?
As mentioned, it will be necessary to search, either with the keys, or, once the piece of furniture is selected, with the joysticks. You can open drawers, turn armchairs, look for clues but also pieces in many different places. Sometimes you will find some things that stand out to you as well. Be careful. The elements collected go into your inventory, where you can consult them, examine them, combine them. The puzzles are not difficult in themselves, but the heavy atmosphere, the eerie music and a certain stiffness in the movement of the selection cursor will test your nerves.
But that’s not all! There are portals. They are of different colors, and have names: the Reptilian Brain, the Limbic System or the Neocortex. They all have a specific color and change your environment accordingly. From there to imagine that you are exploring your own brain or your unconscious, there is only one step, but to determine it, we let you explore the levels of the game!
A collapsible art direction
Paper Cut Mansion is all about amazing indie games, which use several genres or game mechanics to offer an original adventure. On paper, it is. The artistic direction is clever, playing with the edge of origami even in the application of coloring colors. The changes in the environment depending on the portals are as clever as they are scary, because you never know what will fall on you. Unfortunately, the combat system, with two triggers for aiming and shooting and the joystick for orienting, is a little difficult to use. Especially since the game is punishing from the start by not exposing you to the difficulty or the meaning of the gauges on the screen. You will learn the hard way that one is your health, one is your temperature and so on.
As for the story, the elements of which are given from time to time, the game will not hold your hand and you will learn through experience. The result is either a certain satisfaction of surviving in such a bad environment, or a certain frustration of dying without really understanding what element to pay attention to. As your adventure continues, you’ll discover several elements, including maps and clues that allow you to upgrade your character. This will have the effect of giving you random pieces of equipment on your next run. Another chance to live!
For others, Paper Cut Mansion is particularly intense. The difficulty is at its highest, the graphics play in chiaroscuro and sometimes it is necessary to push the brightness to the maximum to avoid surprise. The dark side of origami is well managed and we feel the attention to detail to offer you a title with a heavy but controlled atmosphere.