Impressions: Papertris

Papertris is the upcoming game from developers Paper Games. It is a puzzle game, inspired somewhat – as the name implies – by Tetris and also Columns. It does, however, manage to have its own unique take and is fairly fun and challenging.

Gameplay works similarly to other puzzle games of this variety, you have blocks that move down, and the goal is to match things up to clear the blocks and keep the screen from overloading, again like Tetris. However, in Papertris, you are controlling blocks comprised of 3 squares of a variety of colors, like Columns. Your goal is to match 3 or more of the same color. You can do this by having them side by side, on top of each other, or creating an L pattern. Once 3 of the same color are lined up, they will disappear. As the game progresses, the number of colors the blocks can be increases, as does the speed at which they drop. You have to be quick and plan ahead.

The game also includes a number of challenges and helpful blocks thrown into the mix. Some of them are pretty useful, such as if you get a match around a particular block, it will clear others either above or beside it. Some just add a challenge, like not knowing what color the block will be, or not having a color and instead being a hurdle for you to try to work around until it clears. Most of these are pretty interesting and keep gameplay challenging but fun. One thing added I could have done without is a piece of paper that will block part of the screen. I get why it’s there, it does make things rough for the time that it is, but it felt a little cheap? “Okay, we are just going to cover things up for a bit” rather than adding a more unique and fine-tuned to the game challenge. Still, for the most part, the extra challenge or helpful pieces were cool and added to the gameplay.

Papertris has two different single-player modes. There is challenge mode where you work through the game level by level, with a different goal and time limit, such as, clear x number of one color block, or multiple different amounts of different colors, etc. The difficulty, of course, increasing as you go. Challenge mode saves your progress so you can keep building up and getting further over time. There is also endless mode, which is what it sounds like, you play, and the game slowly gets harder until you fail. There is also two-player mode in which you play against each other.

The art of the game is cool and has a hand-drawn feel to it that makes sense for “Paper”tris. There are also a variety of cool things happening in the background, but don’t take your focus away from the puzzle game itself. The music I am more mixed about. None of it is bad; I just much preferred some of the songs over others. The more chill songs really “spoke” to me, as it were, and I greatly enjoyed them, and they helped me concentrate on the puzzle. Other songs, again not bad, felt a bit too distracting or just weren’t to my tastes. I appreciate the variety either way, though.

The game is also just solidly fun. There is not much to say because many puzzle games like this exist, and it’s a matter of whether each one manages to do a decent job of it. Papertris does a decent job. It is fun, good to look at, sounds decent, and is challenging. I like these types of games but do struggle a bit because I get panic brain once things pick up. Papertris does a good job easing players into it, but it really does end up being quite the challenging game, which is a good thing. I also appreciate the “pick up and go” quality of the game. You can do a level or two in challenge mode in a relatively short time, so it’s something you can do on your commute or if you are watching an episode of a show, etc. I appreciate games like that, especially as someone who likes to multi-task or do things in bursts – play a level, do a chore, play a level, read a chapter, you get the gist of it –

So bottom line? It’s a decent-looking fun puzzle game for the Switch. If you have a Switch and you are looking for something in the vein of Tetris and other similar puzzle games, I highly recommend Papertris. There’s not a lot to say, the game doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Rather it’s just a good version of what we may have seen before but is unique enough that it still manages to be its own game. I like having little puzzle games like this to just slowly work my way through, or as I said above, “pick up and go,” and I am glad to add Papertris to that list. It comes out March 30th, and I think puzzle game fans should consider picking it up!

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