Media Molocule are developers with a very special pedigree, they make games that are inspired by many, but they are so uniquely their own that each experience it is a joy to experience. Tearaway Unfolded almost reaches the same heights, but there are a few things that stop it.
Tearaway Unfolded, sees You, that is moniker in which you are called throughout the entire game, as you guide Iota or Atoi to repairing the tear in the sky. The tear is allowing scraps to enter the world, which are box shaped creatures that suck the colour from everything they touch. The hole in the sky is where you need to go and along the way you will get some assistance from animals, like the Squirrel King, the mummers or even the scarecrow. The mummers are the citizens of the world and will act differently depending on what is going on. The story is actually told by two narrators, who are usually at odds with how the story needs to play out, this can make things feel a little strange, as things build to a conclusion only for a spanner to be thrown into the works at the last minute.
The gameplay is just as odd, the first section of the game leaves you with no abilities, not even the ability to jump, but as you progress through the world, more abilities will be granted to you. The game is tied very heavily to the PlayStation 4 controller, which means each function the controller has is used to some degree in the game, the most common of which is the touchpad on it. At various points you will be tasked with drawing items, like faces or butterflies, as you complete the drawing they will appear in the world, just as you drew them. The problem with it though is because the touchpad is so small, there is not a lot of room to draw things of any great detail, you can get around this if you are extremely patient. The touchpad is also used to open presents that are strewn across the land and later on it is used to control the wind.
The controller really is the key to how the entire game plays, later on, you can use the controller to throw objects into the world and I say into the world as you can throw things into the controller, when you throw in rocks, they can be used to break through parts of the world, throwing in a squirrel in will have it emit sounds from the controller’s speaker, you can even pet it by swiping down on the touch pad. The problem with all this though is that when you are in parts of the world that don’t have any interaction portions, the game feels empty, as if they exist purely as the space between the rest. If you have a PlayStation Camera, there are times when it can be used to take elements from the real world into the game, there are even times when you can use a microphone to add your own sounds to the game, meaning you can really make it your own.
The games biggest draw is its use of the paper craft effect, both in visuals and how everything is built as if it was from paper. Everything that you interact with looks as if it was made by hand and placed into the game, creatures look like they were folded from a kit and they all look great. When you get tears in the paper, it looks like someone reached into the world and caused it to happen, when things are blown around in the wind, they act as you would expect them too. When it comes to the sound, the game strikes a nice balance with some nice tunes and fun character sounds, the only drawback to the audio are the narrators, while I had no issues with the male one, the female voice went from one accent to another in the middle of speaking, really dragging out letters, it was just so out of place from the rest, that it was really distracting.
Tearaway Unfolded is a fun game, that while it takes it to get going, it makes wonderful use of the PlayStation 4’s controller and while the touchpad is a little too small for some of the more intricate drawing actions. Anyone who played the Vita version of the game might find things a little too familiar, but for anyone coming in fresh, it’s an experience that can’t be missed