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Paper Play in Digital Places

From paper fortune tellers we used to make in school, to intricate origami birds, the playful folding of paper into interesting objects has long overlapped with other types of games. Origami appears in video games and board games surprisingly often. This list looks at the best games that put paper folding to the test.

This is sometimes the inclusion of origami objects, like Heavy Rain's killer leaving folded objects as a calling card. In other games, the world itself is made out of paper, that leads to a variety of unusual settings, like Tearaway, Paper Mario and Rappa the Rapper.

Perhaps most interesting are games that use paper as the mechanic for puzzles and interactions. This includes games like A Fold Apart and Paper Trail where you fold the world you play in to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Or Snipperclips where you angle interactions to cut shapes out of your character so you can achieve specific goals and progress.

Then there are games that reward your video game prowess in the real world. Tearaway is the headlines title here, as it let you download and print foldable-paper versions of the characters you met in the game. Nintendo Labo also stands out for using physical folding to create tangible objects you use to control the play.

This list includes 28 games from the last 25 years, with 375 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play with paper. We break them down into the following areas:

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Roll-And-Write, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 375
 

 

Paper Folding

A Fold Apart

A Fold Apart is a puzzle game that explores the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship — in a world of folding paper. After career choices force them along separate paths, a Teacher and Architect vow to make their long-distance...

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo Labo is a game themed around physical folding, colouring and cutting. You get a cardboard pack with the game that folds up to make objects into which you slot the screen and controllers. Whether it’s cardboard steering wheels, fishing rods,...

Lifeslide

Lifeslide is an adventure where you fly a paper plane through an ever-changing landscape. It's a metaphorical journey through the stages of life as you learn to use eddies and up-drafts to soar higher and further.

Paper Trail

Paper Trail is a traversal puzzle game about a budding academic, Paige, leaving home. Play is set in a foldable paper world that you manipulate to join paths, move rocks and overlap the two sides of reality. It's a unique two sided puzzle that tells the...

Kami 2

Kami, and Kami 2 are origami-themed puzzle games where you aim to fill the screen with the same coloured paper. You play by a location to unfold paper of that colour that then spreads until it hits another colour.

Paper Puzzles

Snipperclips

This is a game where you play a piece of paper that can be cut into different shapes. Through a series of puzzle levels, you adjust your shape by clipping and overlapping other players. Sometimes this is to match a shape, at others it is to catch a ball...

Yoshi's Crafted World

Yoshi's Crafted World is a running and jumping game where you control a friendly dinosaur, Yoshi. You work through each level, eating or jumping on enemies while searching for hidden items and collectables.

Papers, Please

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Clip Cut Parks

ClipCut Parks is a world building brain-game where you are making the ideal park. You cut up sheets of square coloured terrain to place on your Park cards. The twist is that you can only make a specific number (and length) of cuts matching a dice role.

Inked

Inked is a puzzle game where you play a sketched hero venturing into the world of ink and paper, from the perspective of the artist who drew you. With simple controls, you traverse platforms and ramps and solve a range of hand-drawn puzzles with...

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is an adventure game set in a hand drawn notebook brought to life by an inventive schoolboy. Your adventure takes you through the pages of the book with varied challenges that suit younger players.

Stripes

Stripes is a sequencing and collecting card game where you create stripes of a single colour from a tangled mess of colours. You flip, draw and trade your cards into an order that creates a complete line of colour. It is about using limited actions to...

Paper Worlds

Rainbow Billy

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Paper Mario is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

Tearaway

Tearaway on PlayStation Vita and Tearaway Unfolded on PlayStation 4 create a game world entirely from paper as the setting for this fantastical adventure. It’s beautiful and funny, and offers a running, jumping exploration challenge. Drawing on...

Wildermyth

Wildermyth is a medieval role-playing game about diverse heroes and themes. You take on evil in a number of stories, each with different heroes and settings. The focus is on the characters as much as their adventures, who are believable, diverse and...

PaRappa the Rapper

PaRappa the Rapper is a bizarre rhythm game where you play a paper-thin rapping dog trying to win the heart of a flower-faced girl. You do this by pressing buttons to rap in time with the music to impress her. It creates a silly yet endearing game about...

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is a role-play game reminiscent of the Paper Mario games. You play three bugs, Vi, Kabbu, and Leif, as they search for The Everlasting Sapling. Explore, level-up and take on fun battles in this lovable adventure.

Lumino City

Lumino City is a puzzle adventure game in a hand made world. This is not unusual for a video game, but this world was literally made by hand in a physical studio and then filmed. It creates a unique experience that feels like you are poking around a...

Wandersong

In Wandersong you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing. Controlled by one of the direction sticks, you can access different notes on the coloured ‘Song Wheel’. This...

The Outbound Ghost

The Outbound Ghost is a narrative role-play about a ghost on a quest to solve the cause of their own death, and help other ghosts come to terms with their own post-mortal existence. It's inspired by [link to game/Paper+Mario+The+Origami+King Paper...

Flynt Buckler Wakes the Sleepy Castle

Flynt Buckler Wakes the Sleepy Castle is an adventure about a cursed storybook and grim versions of classic characters. You are Flynt Buckler and must explore the world, collect items and defeat enemies to save your growing band of fairytale friends.

Paper Animal RPG

Paper Animal RPG is a simple adventure game in a colourful world. You create a band of animal heroes to fight enemies and collect equipment and power-ups.

The Plucky Squire

The Plucky Squire is an adventure where two dimensional storybook character, Jot, discovers the three dimensional world. Play involves battling enemies and exploring the world, on the book pages, surfaces of objects in the real world, and out in the...

Paper Cut Mansion

Paper Cut Mansion is a action-adventure where you explore a mysterious mansion floor by floor. You play by poking around each area, solving puzzles and battling enemies to slowly unlock abilities that help you survive.

Paper Ghost Stories: Third Eye Open

Third Eye Open is a creepy narrative adventure set in early 2000s Malaysia. In its paper-theatre world you join Ting, a 5-year-old girl trying to come to terms with her supernatural powers. You play in point-and-click fashion, exploring the hand-drawn...

Starship Patrol

Starship Patrol (Starship Defense) is a shooting game where you defend your ship from waves of enemy attackers. You have a combination of static guns and defence ships to form an efficient strategy. It's well executed, but most unusual for its hand...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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