Paper Trail – PC Review

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Become an origami pro as you make your way through Paper Trail, the new top-down puzzle game from Newfangled Games. Join Paige on her adventure to pursue her studies away from home as you make your way through caves, swamps and more by folding the world to your will.

Paper Trail is available now on Steam or you can try before you buy with the free demo! You can also grab it on Playstation, Switch, Xbox and Netflix Games.

The main character, Paige, sits at her desk with a pen in her hand. There are subtitles below saying 'The problem? Well they didn't want her to go'. Behind her is a window with a tower in the distance showing highlighting where her journey will take her.
Doodling away whilst dreaming of adventure


When first approaching Paper Trail, I thought ‘how hard could it be?’ and for the first few levels I was right. Newfangled introduces you to the game mechanics slowly, holding your hand throughout the first in-game day. Folding pages in half revealed Paige’s relationship with her parents and why she was determined to leave home in favour of furthering her education. It was a simple and steady road to discovering the story.

After the first few levels, the game introduces collectibles. As pages fold, additional paths are revealed leading to origami animals that you are able to collect. These aren’t in every level but they do appear regularly throughout the game. They will often appear on the underside of the ‘page’ and will challenge players to find new paths to reach them. Each origami is a different animal ranging from animals like cats and dogs to frogs.

The image says 'origami found' and there is a small symbol of an origami cat. This is the first collectible in the game
Fold yourself a zoo…

After the first few levels, Paper Trail quickly picks up in difficulty by adding movable objects and pieces of paths that had to match in order to be able to cross. There were plenty of times, even in the early chapters of the game where I was left scratching my head looking for a solution. The gameplay doesn’t differ too much.  The game is focused on turning pages, both literally and figuratively, to further the narrative.

Paige is an interesting character and her story is fun to play through. You will also meet a number of side characters throughout the game, all of which try to teach you about the world. Despite the lack of change in the gameplay, the puzzles are compelling enough to keep you engaged throughout.

Graphics & Audio

The art style of Paper Trail is unique and adds to the personal style of Paige’s adventure. The hand-drawn feeling of the graphics emphasises that this is her experience and you are playing through her story. They also pair really well with the confusing puzzles. The simplicity of the design makes it less annoying when you fail. It’s hard to be annoyed when there are cute frogs lurking in the water or there is beautiful cave art in the background.

The audio is focused on building atmosphere with music quietly playing in the background rather than a big push on music. This further adds to the idea of this being Paige’s story. Her journey wouldn’t have music playing all the time but she would remember the wind blowing through the caves.

The music that you can hear is beautiful and really elevates the overall feel of the game.

Towards the bottom of the image, Paige, the main characters, stands on a small wooden dock. The green swamp shows a number of possible paths that the player can reach by folding the paper. There is a key on the right side of the image that unlocks the path to the next scene. There is also a dark brown square with arrows on it in the water which can be moved by the player.Grab the key to unlock the next chapter…


The length of time you spend playing this game will depend on how long you can be stumped for. If you’re someone who doesn’t like intricate puzzles then this isn’t the game for you. I sunk a good number of hours into this game and there were times where I had to take a break. I could look at the same puzzles for 10+ minutes and still not figure it out. Sometimes you may need to walk away and come back to it before you get too annoyed with yourself.

Collectibles add to the longevity of the game as you can spend as long as you want collecting them all but once you’ve played through the game once, there isn’t much reason to play through it again.

The image is a folded piece of paper which has turned into a picture. The picture is off a lighthouse in front of a sunset. The lighthouse is surrounded by trees and grass. There is a small house to the right of the lighthouse.

Final Thoughts

Paper Trail is, at its core, a wonderful adventure through page bending worlds. Paige is an adorable main character and the atmosphere that it creates through its design and music is stellar. The reason I’m not giving a platinum award is because the difficulty curve felt a little too steep.

I would still recommend Paper Trail to any fans of puzzle or cozy games. That’s why it has been awarded the Thumb Culture Gold Award.

Want to know what I thought about other games? Check out my other reviews here!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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