While visually distinct, a relatively short and sometimes aggravatingly uneven puzzle adventure holds it back
In many ways, perhaps somewhat unfairly, my impression of Papetura is comparable to the classic days where game box art would suck you in to take the plunge on a title, only to find out it’s a bit of a dud. Perhaps that’s a little too aggressive a comparison to make, as obviously there are at least some redeeming qualities to the title past its looks, but unfortunately the general sentiment, I feel, is accurate. Undoubtedly one of the more distinctive games I’ve seen on the system, the art style is quite beautiful and genuinely unique. The problems arise, though, when you begin playing it. A lack of any dialogue, story, prompting, or direction is the first sign of potential trouble and, unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for that to pose problems. Rather than having any guidance on what to do or even how to interact with the things in your environment, the game will simply get you methodically trying to click on everything just to see what happens. Up to a point this is fine, and can work out, but the aggravation comes when you have an inkling of what you need to do, but your tools to work with are so limited you can’t see how to connect the dots. Throw in the fact that when you do stumble your way through its puzzles it’s over pretty quickly, never having really done more than be pretty and relatively aggravating as an experience, and it’s an easy one to skip, even if you’d normally be a fan of something like this.
Justin Nation, Score: