The Average Gamer

Tearaway Review (Vita)

Tearaway Logo Header
Tearaway is pure, unbridled joy. Everything about it puts a smile on my face. Media Molecule have created an amazing world of virtual paper and it is all stupendous.

Right from the start you choose your avatar, Atoi or Iota. Ostensibly you’re choosing between male and female but everyone in the world will refer to you as “the messenger” or “they”, so it’s more of an aesthetic decision. Thrown into this papercraft world, Atoi needed my help to navigate obstacles and ultimately reach the Sun. By loading up the game, I’d inserted myself into their world, you see. Quite literally.

Tearaway Cutscene

You’ll spend the first hour simply marvelling at how everything has been done. It’s all made of paper, from the trees to the monsters to the crazy machinery, and even down to the tiny splashes that your character makes as you trundle through the water.

Throughout the entire game, you’ll be customising the world by making your own paper decorations and this is probably my favourite part of Tearaway. At times, you’ll be asked to make a crown for a king, or jazz up the snowflakes, or help an elk choose a distinctive coat. It was really lovely to see something that I’d made just fluttering about in the world, like it was always meant to be there.

To make these items or even custom decorations for your Atoi or Iota, there’s a cutting board with a selection of coloured paper. Simply trace where you want to cut, hit the scissors icon and you can arrange the pieces however you want.

Don’t be expecting precision designs, since you’re tracing a line on a Vita screen with sausage fingers but there’s plenty of room to get creative. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some impressive pieces from people with a stylus over on the website as well, thanks to the in-game camera.

You can also collect real-world papercraft items by taking photos of white objects. This restores their colour within the game but also unlocks papercraft models that you download and construct at home.

Tearaway is very much a platformer and a reasonably slow-paced one at that. Where Super Mario 3D World had me alternating between appreciative joy and blind, ragequitting fury, Tearaway is simply delightful throughout.

Tearaway Squirrel CrownYour job is to assist Atoi by hitting bounce pads for an extra boost, or jamming your fingers through holes in the scenery to move blocks out of the way. Sometimes you’ll need to tilt the world, shake it to fend off attackers or take photos to use as textures. Yes, this sounds like a checklist of Vita features and that’s exactly what it is. Media Molecule have found a way to integrates them into the design. They’ve done it very well.

It’s not all bouncing about and looking around. The action ramps up during the third act, where you’ll be rolling frantically around dozens of enemies or trying for frenzied hopping across platforms while under attack. For the most part though, there’s time to stop and enjoy the scenery and the checkpoint system means you’ll rarely lose more than a few seconds of progress.

Enjoy the music. Take photos. Collect scraps. Make silly things. Tearaway is a wonderful game that everyone should play.

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