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Review: Paper Cut Mansion

Will you solve the mystery of the Paper Cut Mansion?

If you are still looking for some scares after the Halloween season but don’t want ultra-violence or sexy tall vampires, this indie darling may be just the right fit.

Paper Cut Mansion
Space Lizard Studio

Paper Cut Mansion casts you as Toby, a police detective who arrives at the titular mansion to explore its mysteries. To escape, you will need to explore the mansion floor by floor solving puzzles and completing tasks for its many creepy inhabitants.

Gameplay

With roguelike gameplay, you will need to make your way through various paper craft style rooms, exploring items and tackling enemies as you search for clues.

Death means starting over again but with a different procedurally generated layout of rooms and items, as well as portals to different dimensions within the house; some more dangerous than others.

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When you first step inside the mansion, you meet a dead wanderer. They warn you that you are now trapped inside as he previously was, and must try to find your way out. The Wanderer clues you in to one of the game’s most helpful features.

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The Wanderer tells you to keep an eye on the Green Moth, as it will fly around as you are exploring. If there is an item of interest hidden in the room it’ll stop on a nearby wall and flash until that item is found. This can save one from any frustrating backtracking.

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When you complete a run you will be dropped into the next floor with the option to add a medal to your jacket. Each one grants a new buff to help you on your next run, so choose wisely. This could make the difference between success and failure.

Paper Cut Mansion
Space Lizard Studio

Dimension Hopping

When you enter the mansion you will find yourself in the NeoCortex dimension; a homage to a classic gaming villain perhaps? From here you can also travel to two alternative dimensions where the gameplay is changed up. The Reptilian dimension sees the mansion in flames and you must fight against hordes of monsters using any weapon available to get out in one piece.

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The Limbic dimension is colder and easier to explore, but if you stay too far away from heat sources, the cold will damage you. This change up for each dimension keeps gameplay fresh as different tasks from the various NPCs will need you to explore all through the mansion and its various dimensions.

Papercraft Style

Paper Cut Mansion stands out from the crowd with its papercraft style graphics, the closest comparison would be the PS Vita classic Tearaway. Everything from the walls to the furniture and even the characters themselves look to be made of paper and card, with the isometric camera giving the feeling of looking into a shoebox room.

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Even the cursor used to open drawers and explore the furniture is a large cardboard hand. But don’t take too much comfort in this seemly harmless art style, as the first time you come against a cardboard ghost leaping at your screen you’re going to want to start running.

Conclusion

Pros

Standout visual style

Colorful characters

Great music

Cons

Gameplay can feel repetitive

Not a lot of variety to the level layouts

Space Lizard Studio

Paper Cut Mansion does a great job of delivering a fun roguelike experience in a visually enjoyable setting. The musical cut scenes are a real treat and the quirky NPCs really add to the fun. If you’re looking for a good mystery based indie title you could go a lot worse than this game.

Paper Cut Mansion is available on Steam and Xbox now and soon to PlayStation and Switch.

7/10