What is Tearaway Unfolded?
Tearaway Unfolded is a platforming adventure game for the Playstation 4, originally released as Tearaway on the PS Vita. Following a personified envelope, known as the 'Messenger', on their mission to deliver themselves to, well, you, it's up to you to take control of the papery protagonist on their adventure, as they head try to reach a mysterious hole that's appeared in the sky. But it's not all sunshine and (paper) roses in the land of Tearaway, as the hole has attracted the attention of a load of nefarious newspaper enemies, trying to sap the colour from the kingdom - so it's up to you to put a stop to their tricks too.
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How do you play Tearaway Unfolded?
Most of your time with Tearaway will be spent exploring the paper-crafted worlds, from spooky attics to snow-capped mountains and lush green fields, solving puzzles, searching for hidden collectables and helping the locals with their problems. Whether you're using the Playstation 4 controller's built-in light bar to illuminate a dark cave, launching yourself upwards atop a drum skin with a press of the Touch Pad, or crashing through waves of enemies on the back of a pig hell-bent on revenge, there's rarely a dull moment in Tearaway, as you leap, throw and roll your way through the game's world on a quest to reach the hole in the sky. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game is it's creation tools. Often, folks you encounter will ask you to make them a fitting crown, give an elk a new winter coat or create some fashion-forward headgear - and your Messenger is all too happy to oblige. Bringing up a virtual cutting board, all you have to do is choose a paper colour, and draw a shape with your finger on the controller's Touch Pad to cut things out, letting you create some fairly impressive accessories, customising your kingdom however you see fit.
How easy is Tearaway Unfolded to pick up and play?
That said, it can be a little awkward drawing on the comparatively small surface of the Touch Pad, and with as imprecise an input as your finger, some of the things you make most likely won't turn out as perfectly as you envisioned. Still, as you never have to draw a very specific shape to finish a puzzle, or anything similar, this doesn't pose a major problem in terms of accessibility. On the other hand, younger children may sometimes struggle with some of the mechanics you have to deal with to get past certain puzzles, such as combining moving with the analogue stick with swiping on the Touch Pad, or tilting the controller to move the light source around the screen while running about yourself - both of which can require a fair amount of co-ordination, and could end up tying some of the less competent players' fingers up in knots. Reading is also a requirement, with many of the quests unvoiced, so you'll need to be a competent reader to understand what you have to do.
- "See how they tremble before me! My reign of terror continues! To the summit, my fearsome! To the summit!"
- "So what do you say, my fearsome, would you like to record your own roar?"
- "I prayed for a facial hair wizard, but I never thought one would come!"
As a bright, colourful and light-hearted adventure, Tearaway Unfolded has nothing in the way of sex, bad language or bloody violence whatsoever. Enemies are square boxes of newspaper who simply explode into confetti when defeated, whether you're luring them off cliffs or throwing other enemies, rocks or paper, boxey squirrels at them. Occasional areas can also be a bit on the dark side, and one area takes place in a 'spooky' attic searching for a 'scary' scarecrow - who actually turns out to be nowhere near as sinister as the townsfolk make him out to be. Really though it's more kids Halloween party scary, with dark corridors, cobwebs and occasional bumps in the distance, rather than proper creepy 'horror' scary, so even the most wimpish of kids should be ok (after all - we were!).
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4