Do you remember the first time someone took a vibrant piece of paper and, folding carefully, made a three dimensional sculpture right in front of you? Or perhaps, you were handed a paper crane without knowing the skill behind it and turned it around in your hands to try to understand its secrets. Fold The World from Crazy Labs uses the magic of origami to offer puzzle lovers the unique experience of clever digital paper folding.
Your goal is to guide a slinky-like creature along paths drawn on a piece of paper. Along the way, you’ll pick up puzzle pieces to unlock later levels. The paths are broken and you must fold the paper to connect the paths using creases and arrows to guide your moves. As levels progress, you’ll encounter portals to move through paper, glowing ink, spinning surfaces, and other tricks that adds a new dimension to your paper adventure.
The compelling use of parallax creates a charming pop-up feeling, while the paper is effectively three-dimensional. Amazingly, the creators actually made and solved all of the levels using real paper in the real world in order to ensure proper design for the game. Considering there are 60 levels, this commitment to fidelity is impressive.
Simply put, the world is beautiful and the puzzles are engaging. But while I loved the design of the Paper Kingdom and most of its inhabitants, I didn’t find the hero of the game particularly appealing. Most of the tangential figures were pretty cute, but the googly eyes, flapping mouth and flopping tongue of “Yolo” seemed slovenly and juvenile compared to the precision of the rest of the game. There was a storyline about Yolo and his journey to defeat the Lord of Darkness, but given the option to hide the story, I did so. The narrative seemed forced, so it didn’t raise the stakes for me or invest me further into the character; I was happier to simply work through the puzzles.
Looking past the main character, however, I enjoyed advancing through the levels and was delighted by the creative mechanics employed in each puzzle. Early on, the simple act of folding the paper in multiple directions with different types of creases to create peaks and valleys is truly engaging. I have to admit that smooshing Yolo under the paper was pretty satisfying as well.
As you progress, the obstacles become more complicated and you’ll need to avail yourself of the hints that can be acquired with rainbow gems earned in gameplay. As my score became more important to earn those gems, I would have liked to see more explicitly how my score was calculated for each level. Within the HUD there is no visible tally of your folds or your time spent as you work through a puzzle, so it is difficult to know how to improve.
Because Fold The World is free to download, you will eventually hit a paywall that you can scale by watching videos or spending some money. However, you’ll get a lot of playtime in before that happens, so you can make an informed decision if you want to invest more than just time. Puzzle fans will surely be pleased with the challenging gameplay and the unique mechanics, so you have nothing lose in trying your hand at some mobile paper folding.