Exploring the Paper World of Papetura

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By Mike DeVillar on May 10th, 2021

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Games made from things other than polygons are always impressive. The amount of effort and work to make a video game exist in a real life space is staggering. From classics like The Neverhood to modern releases like Fantasian, there is always a sense of awe that someone even attempted to make a game this way, much less seeing it through to completion.

This is absolutely the case with Papetura, a point and click adventure game developed by Petums. 

However, to say the game was just ‘developed’ does it a disservice. Painstakingly and animated using numerous paper models, backdrops, and clever use of light, Petums (real name Tomasz Ostafun) spent the better part of six years painstakingly crafting the game. Every item, every character, every animation and thing on screen barring a few visual SFX was done by hand, creating a textured world rife with things to explore and interact with. 

Making any kind of game is difficult work. Making a game entirely out of paper by hand, with minimal help is nothing short of staggering. The use of light and the translucent properties of the paper (general printing paper according to the game’s press kit) a depth is given to the world that despite a severely limited palette, feels rich and fully formed.

Alongside an atmospheric soundtrack provided by Tomas Dvorak (Machinarium, Samorost), and sound design provided by Juraj Mravec, Papetura’s story of survival and companionship is one that is at once dreamy, and enrapturing. 

It’s hard to comprehend at points that what you are looking at is in fact paper, and not just digital art attempting to mimic the medium. Especially in some of the game’s set piece moments, the staggering amount of detail or scope makes reckoning with the construction  truly mind-boggling. 

Thankfully Petums has made videos and images available detailing the process, showing off not only the artistry, but the effort that has gone into creating such a beautiful game. Looking at these production photos and watching the behind the scenes footage is as engaging and interesting as the game itself, and is absolutely worth sifting through. 

 For fans of classic point and click adventure games, or people looking for something a bit different, this game absolutely delivers. Check in later for a full review on Papetura, which is out now for PC and Mac, and as of writing is currently on sale through the 14th of May.

Image credit: Petums

Mike DeVillar is a writer/editor that's stumbled his way into the games industry, as well as a lot of places he shouldn't be getting into in general.

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