Paperbound is yet another arena based multiplayer brawler. Players can choose from a variety of avatars ranging from obscure creatures, to stickmen, to even guest characters like Juan from Guacamelee. It’s similar to other recent PS4 games like Starwhal, or Samurai Gunn in that characters die in one hit. Each hero is armed with a pair of scissors that can be thrown and retrieved, an ink bomb that will also take out the thrower if too close, and a standard melee attack. Choosing a model is really only for aesthetic reasons, making the choice feel superficial.
Speaking of stages, as the name hints at, characters are fighting in books. There are five books, each with a few varying levels. Some arenas are blown out and make it harder to see anything while others zoom up close and personal, which make rounds go by much faster. To make things a little crazier, a simple button press can flip gravity, which takes some getting used to, but using it will help gain victory. There are four game types, each with a team-based, or free for all option. Classic sees gamers battling it out for killing points, while survivor gives each player a stock of lives, similar to smash brothers. Capture the Quill is only team based, similar to Capture the Flag, but their King of the Hill variety is open to both sides.
Challengers can face off against three friends, which is the best way to play. There’s nothing like hearing the screams of frustration and the joyful jaunts boom across the room. For that, it’s awesome. Yet it lacks variety in the nature of the modes and the characters to offer anything above that. That is to say, fighting against AI controlled bots is not fun and there is no single player content other than that.
Paperbound is a game that wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s a unique idea that falls flat and doesn’t excel at creating a world, or even unique play experiences. However, as a multiplayer type in the genre, it is fun with a group of friends. The fun just won’t last forever without them.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on March 31, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.