The Wholesome Direct showcase again had a lot of games, but the one that really stood out to me was Paper Trail, as it looked and felt quite different. I’ve already elaborated on the main wholesome themes for this year, which are witches and plants, and Paper Trail is neither. It’s origami and puzzles. There is also a very cool free demo, so you can see for yourself.
The world of Paper Trail is a 2D world of separate pieces of paper. You are able to “see the other side” and can bend each leaf from its sides or corners to create new paths or reveal secrets. It’s on the one hand very nice to look at and on the other hand very tactile to play – you can almost feel the paper sliding as you shoot the world.
It’s third quite difficult, actually – at least, much more than you’d expect from the beautiful colors and round little people of the world. The early puzzles teach you how you can fold locations back on themselves to find new routes through or around obstacles. But then you find pressure plates that you have to roll a boulder over, and the boulder is way over there on an inaccessible cliff. Or stones with domino markings that you can only walk on if they are connected to another stone with the same marking. Or doors that need a key to open. Where is the key?? Oh my god, this scene is made of five different pieces of paper that all somehow connect!
In the trailer you can see that the later levels have a sort of MC Escher approach to physics and gravity, which won’t make any of this any easier…
All this confusing 2D origami is in the service of a story. The main character, Paige, is trying to go to college to start her first semester. Apparently the route involves magical caves, strange castles and other things. I just had to take a train.
Paper Trail will be released next year and can be added to the wishlist on Steam at present. The demo won’t last forever, so check it out while you can.
E3 2022 isn’t in full swing – find out all about it in our E3 2022 hub, along with our full roundup of everything announced at Summer Game Fest 2022. Plenty of other great game showcases and streams are yet to come this summer, so make sure to stay up to date with our summer games broadcast schedule.