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Xbox One / Xbox Series X/S Game Review



Paper Cut Mansion


Format: Xbox One / Xbox Series X/S
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing AB
Developer: Space Lizard Studio
RRP: £16.99
Click here to buy from Xbox Marketplace
Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 27 October 2022

Paper Cut Mansion is a roguelite horror set in a papercraft world. Play as Toby, a police detective arriving at a mysterious old mansion. Explore the mansion floor by floor as you seek to unravel the story behind this bizarre place, with each run giving you the opportunity to collect another piece of evidence to be added onto your Evidence Board. The Mansion also hosts a mysterious cast of characters who may help or hinder your progress on each run...


Everything seems to be made of corrugated cardboard

Paper Cut Mansion is almost impossible to describe. You really need to experience it to understand and appreciate it. Those looking for a game that is quirky, fun and completely original should check out Paper Cut Mansion. I don't know what warped mind came up with the concept, but thank goodness for them.

You're pretty much thrown in at the deep end with no real explanation as to what on earth is going on. And in this respect you're learning as your character would if this were real life. Even the opening introduction leaves you wondering if you're doing the right thing as you walk down a road with no idea what you're doing or where you are going. But if you think that's confusing... wait until you start the game proper.

You enter the mansion and the first thing you notice is, like the introduction, everything seems to be made of folded paper or corrugated cardboard. You're trapped in a hotel with one simple quest. Find the talking door and get out. Of course it's not quite that simple. You can examine many of the objects and items of furniture in each room. If you can examine them then it means they are hiding something of interest. Usually it's coins, but occasionally it's an item that will come in useful somewhere in the mansion.


You're thrown in at the deep end with no idea what on earth is going on

Accompanying you on your quest is a glowing moth creature, which you can ignore for most of the time. But if you enter a room and it immediately settles on a wall (giving off a "ping" sound) that means there is something of interest in that room and you'll probably need to find what it is in order to complete the level. But is it in this dimension? Or another one? That's for you to discover.

Oh, yeah, that's the thing. Not only are you trapped in a weird paper-like universe, but there are portals to other dimensions (See. I told you the game was hard to describe). The same room layout of the mansion is in these other dimensions, but you'll need to travel to each one in order to find different items or complete side quests. Again, this isn't something the game explains to you, you have to discover it yourself. This means, as a player, you feel a real sense of achievement upon working things out for yourself. Each dimension has its own perils, from freezing temperatures that deplete your energy, to attacking beasties, that can be dealt with thanks to a gun that materialises in your hands only when you're in that dimension.

I'm one of those gamers who the moment I've stepped out of a room I can never remember how to retrace my steps and find it again. Paper Cut Mansion's levels grow as your progress, but I never felt lost. A big part of this is if you haven't been in a room before then the doors are closed. Once you've entered a room the door stays open. So you always know when there's a new area you haven't explored yet.


Die and you're transported right back to the start

As you wander around your surroundings you can speak to individual characters you encounter. They will often provide help or send you on side quests in return for a reward.

One aspect which I found interesting, but others may find frustrating, is that you can't pause the game. I hit the menu button (which almost always causes games to pause) and when I came back I noticed that the game had continued in my absence and I had died.

Die and you're transported right back to the start. Complete the level and you're thrust into another which at first appears identical, with the same challenges... but this time the level is larger and you'll once again need to shift through the various dimensions in order to get out of the level.

There's also another element, that no doubt comes into play at a later time. You find clues as you complete levels and these are added to a pinboard on the main menu. As you uncover these you're a step closer to finding out what on earth is going on.


Characters will often provide help or send you on side quests

One thing I couldn't shake when playing this game was how perfect it would be if it were to be released as a VR title.

This is a novel, entertaining game that looks incredible and is guaranteed to drag you back time and time again... if only to try and work out what on earth is going on and whether or not you can progress just that little bit further.


Darren Rea

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Buy this item online

£20 Xbox Live Credits