Re-reading the blurb for Paper Cut Mansion induced a Scooby-Doo double-takin’ jaw-droppin’ moment. Another rogue-like? It don’t matter how good these visuals be lookin’, I ain’t got the time for death – I’m all deathed out on The Last Hero of Nostalgaia. That’s a plug. So… is it any good?
First impressions? It looked good, but it didn’t work on the Steam Deck. After a brief intro, the game would freeze, and that’d be it. Since writing this, there’s a Steam announcement that this affects many Unity games, so not exclusive to this title. Retiring to the desktop, it was absolutely fine. How could I be mad at you – look how good this looks. Yes, looks aren’t everything, but they’ll warm you up for the gameplay.
From the get-go, Paper Cut Mansion lures you in with respect to the story. It’s a bit cliche; you set out to investigate a creepy mansion, only to find that you’ve been locked in and thus need to escape its many floors. The non-spoiling twist? You’re not a buxom blonde or part of a teen troupe daring one another to scope out their creepy neighbours or even finding out what they’re really doing with the T-virus. Nope. You’re a police detective named Toby. You’re supposed to be there.
Paper Cut Mansion Review
There’s no doubt about it: the visuals are brilliant, as is the audio. Similar titles would include Papetura (for the paper element), but the perspective is more on par with Dread Nautical or One Shell Straight To Hell. If you’re looking for a quirky, spooky-themed game for Halloween, then Space Lizard’s game will fit the bill, but you might want to know what the gameplay is like. It’s from an isometric viewpoint, but not a fixed one – you can spin the camera around for a closer look. The mansion is separated into individual rooms – real life! – and you’ll explore each, looking for clues and coins.
Paper Cut Mansion resembles an escape room to some extent, as you’ll need to locate objects to solve a puzzle to open a doorway. NPCs will occasionally give you some hints, but mostly errands for you to unlock new gear or access a previously unlocked area. It’s safe to assume there’s backtracking into previous parts of the mansion, but it’s a little different here as you will travel through numerous dimensions.
Combat is straightforward in the game, though, as a rogue-like, it can be frustrating once you die as it’s permadeath: return to start, don’t collect $200, but you’ll restart a little older, a little wiser… Toby can carry several items that’ll boost his abilities/restoration syringes and whatnot, plus there’ll be a multitude of weapons to carry with you to fight the nasties that occupy this twisted world.
Exploration is a little flatter than the beautiful 3D models that occupy it as it’s mostly a case of walking up to a grandfather clock or similar, spinning the 3D model on its axis, and then grabbing whatever goodies are inside. In addition, an oversized green moth follows you around, and if there’s something of interest in the room, it’ll stop and vibrate its wings until you find said item. Forget the butterfly effect.
I want to write a bit more about my adventures in Paper Cut Mansion, but due to the issue with Steam Deck, I was restricted on time to play it, and on top of that, incurred some runtime errors for the first time in my Steam playing experience. It’s unrelated to the game, but everything else works, so I may be revisiting this at a later date. For the time being, it’s definitely worth a look, but keep an eye on the Steam page if you’re also a fan of the Deck and want to play something away from your desk.