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Paper Animal RPG Preview

Paper Animal RPG Preview

Announced during Wholesome Direct 2022, Paper Animal RPG was one of the highlights I covered throughout the event. Featuring Paper Mario-esque graphics and a charming story about a king that's gone missing, I promptly put it on my wishlist. Now, months later, Paper Animal RPG has been released on Kickstarter, bolstering a demo for all to experience before they decide whether they'll be backing it. Since I've been excited to try out the game for some time, I decided to jump into it and write about it.

Paper Animal RPG is a tile-based roguelike title in which you play as one of the numerous paper animals attempting to get back their lost king.

If I had to explain Paper Animal RPG in four words, it would be: "simple, unique, and fun". That all essentially encompasses how the gameplay and its mechanics are; the game is easy to pick up and enjoy, and I struggle to see anyone not being able to, thanks to its simplicity. And although simplicity is often closely associated with dullness, Paper Animal RPG is anything but.

Paper Animal RPG Image

It took me longer to launch the game than it was to start a round, as swiftly I was asked which character I wanted to play with from a selection of three lovable characters: Peep, the brawler chicken; Shelp, the support turtle; and Kwak, the caster frog. I journeyed into my first adventure as Peep because I love chickens and I always try to play the tankier characters (it's in my nature).

Once you've selected your character, you are dropped into an open area for you to explore. This small world is full of monsters and treasures to discover, with a little indicator on the top right that tells you how much of the map you've explored. Each dungeon (a cluster of levels) has several areas that you can adventure through, and to get to the next one, you need to find an enemy that has a key to unlock the area. Whether you play to get to the ending as fast as you can or do an explorer run, you'll have plenty to do.

After a couple of areas, you'll reach a campfire, in which you'll be able to check your fan mail, level up your character, feed your character, and change which ones delve into the next area.

Paper Animal RPG Campfire2

Your fan mail essentially works as side quests that spruce up your unique runs to make them more interesting. Fans of your run will send you a mail with a request that'll reward you with an item once you've completed it. These quests can be exploring the whole map, defeating some enemies, or even using a specific attack throughout the next area, and often reward you with abilities or items for you to equip into the next environment.

Meanwhile, levelling up your character costs experience you acquire throughout your adventures. You'll have the opportunity to pick from three randomly-generated perks that are available or a third option to spend some of your EXP on a reroll to get three different perks, making the game's randomised element deeper due to your own luck.

Eating food at the campsite offers you the ability to get temporary (or, with some foods, permanent) stat boosts that'll help you throughout your journey; eating the right food before a boss will help massively to allow you to pass it with flying colours. Though, as I do not enjoy consumable elements in games (a personal issue of mine I've been trying to get over ever since my The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt days), I didn't delve too much into this system.

Paper Animal RPG Food2

And finally, throughout your adventure, you find other characters that can accompany you through your journey to defeat the boss of any given area. It is here I got to experience playing as Kwak and see how casters would work, as Paper Animal RPG allows you to seamlessly change between two characters at the click of a button, making combat feel far more fast-paced and fun. Each character brings its own unique strengths to the table, such as Kwak's capability to make use of ranged attacks or Shelp's support capabilities allowing you to make unique builds according to which character, items, and even traits you learn.

All in all, Paper Animal RPG is on a fantastic road to becoming a phenomenal title. It's unique, fun, and the combat is unlike others I've experienced, with a lovely simplicity but complexity for those that seek to make more intricate builds. Although I only managed to play the two levels available in the demo, it has been the most fully-fledged and complete demo I've experienced, and you could convince me that — despite how early into development Paper Animal RPG is — it's ready to be released.

If you wish to support the developers, make sure to head on over to the game's Kickstarter! It's already been fully funded, but there are stretch goals to reach and phenomenal rewards to claim — I myself might have bought something had I had the money to fund it! Do yourself a favour and try out the demo as well!

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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