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Paper Play in Digital

From the paper fortune tellers we used to make in school, to intricate origami birds, the playful folding of paper into interesting objects has long overlapped with other types of games. Origami appears in video games and board games surprisingly often. This list looks at the best games that put paper folding to the test.

This is sometimes the inclusion of origami objects, like Heavy Rain's killer leaving folded objects as a calling card. In other games, the world itself is made out of paper, which leads to a variety of unusual settings, like Tearaway, Paper Mario and Rappa the Rapper.

Perhaps most interesting are games that use paper as the mechanic for puzzles and interactions. This includes games like A Fold Apart and Paper Trail where you fold the world you play in to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Or Snipperclips where you angle interactions to cut shapes out of your character so you can achieve specific goals and progress.

Then there are games that reward your video game prowess in the real world. Tearaway is the headline title here, as it lets you download and print foldable paper versions of the characters you met in the game. Nintendo Labo also stands out for using physical folding to create tangible objects you use to control the play.
This list includes 36 games from the last 27 years, with 534 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play with paper. We break them down into the following areas:

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Paper Folding

A Fold Apart

A Fold Apart is a puzzle game that explores the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship — in a world of folding paper. After career choices force them along separate paths, a Teacher and Architect vow to make their long-distance...

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo Labo is a game themed around physical folding, colouring and cutting. You get a cardboard pack with the game that folds up to make objects into which you slot the screen and controllers. Whether it’s cardboard steering wheels, fishing rods,...

Paper Trail

Paper Trail is a traversal puzzle game about Paige, a budding academic who is leaving home. Play is set in a foldable paper world that you manipulate to join paths, move rocks and overlap the two sides of reality. It's a unique two-sided puzzle that...


Lifeslide is an adventure where you fly a paper plane through an ever-changing landscape. It's a metaphorical journey through the stages of life as you learn to use eddies and up-drafts to soar higher and further.

Kami 2

Kami, and Kami 2 are origami-themed puzzle games where you aim to fill the screen with the same coloured paper. You play by a location to unfold paper of that colour that then spreads until it hits another colour.

Paper Puzzles


Snipperclips is a game where you play a piece of paper that can be cut into different shapes. Through a series of puzzle levels, you adjust your shape by clipping and overlapping other players. Sometimes this is to match a shape, others, it is to catch...

Yoshi's Crafted World

Yoshi's Crafted World is a running and jumping game where you control a friendly dinosaur, Yoshi in a hand-made world of paper-craft. You work through each level, eating or jumping on enemies while searching for hidden items and collectables. It stands...

Papers, Please

Papers, Please is a narrative puzzle game where you play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizen’s passports and paperwork...

A Tiny Sticker Tale

A Tiny Sticker Tale is an adventure where you change the cosy cartoon world with stickers. Play involves moving around and talking to the locals, then switching to sticker mode to use objects and complete quests. It stands out for the approachable play...

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is an adventure game set in a hand drawn notebook brought to life by an inventive schoolboy. Your adventure takes you through the pages of the book with varied challenges that suit younger players.

Let's Revolution

Let's Revolution is a puzzle adventure where you work to stop a narcissistic King from ruining your world. Play is like Mine Sweeper where you get numerical clues on one tile about what's on its neighbours. Here though, you use this information for...

Jigsaw Puzzle Dreams

Jigsaw Puzzle Dreams is a classic puzzle simulation game where you solve beautiful puzzles in fully 3D environments. Play is, as you would expect, finding, categorising and placing puzzle pieces. It stands out not only for the visuals but how each...


Papetura is a point-and-click puzzle game where you traverse a vibrant paper world of strange organic structures and whimsical fairy houses. You interact with these things to complete puzzles and little challenges like lighting up a room or creating a...


Inked is a puzzle game where you play a sketched hero venturing into the world of ink and paper, from the perspective of the artist who drew you. With simple controls, you traverse platforms and ramps and solve a range of hand-drawn puzzles with...

Clip Cut Parks

Clip Cut Parks is a world-building brain game where you are making the ideal park. You cut up sheets of square-coloured terrain to place on your Park cards. The twist is that you can only make a specific number (and length) of cuts matching a dice role.


Stripes is a sequencing and collecting card game where you create stripes of a single colour from a tangled mess of colours. You flip, draw and trade your cards in an order that creates a complete line of colour. It is about using limited actions to...

There Was A Home

There Was A Home is a narrative adventure that follows Noor, a young Saudi woman who returns to clear out her family house. Play is a combination of clicking around to explore her home and using the physical journal to help solve puzzles to find items...

Paper Worlds

Rainbow Billy

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and strategy...

Tearaway Unfolded

Tearaway Unfolded is an adventure game where you explore a folklore-filled fantasy world that's made entirely of paper. You play by moving around the world, running, jumping and collecting items to unlock doors and fight enemies. It stands out for how...

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Paper Mario: The Origami King is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well-balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...


Wildermyth is a medieval role-playing game about diverse heroes and themes. You take on evil in a number of stories, each with different heroes and settings. The focus is on the characters as much as their adventures, who are believable, diverse and...

PaRappa the Rapper

PaRappa the Rapper is a bizarre rhythm game where you play a paper-thin rapping dog trying to win the heart of a flower-faced girl. You do this by pressing buttons to rap in time with the music to impress her. It creates a silly yet endearing game about...


Wandersong is an adventure where you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing with one of the direction sticks. It stands out not only for its start of love and loss but for...

Lumino City

Lumino City is a puzzle adventure game in a handmade world. This is not unusual for a video game, but this world was literally made by hand in a physical studio and then filmed. It creates a unique experience that feels like you are poking around a...

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is a role-play game reminiscent of the Paper Mario games. You play three bugs, Vi, Kabbu, and Leif, as they search for The Everlasting Sapling. Explore, level-up and take on fun battles in this lovable adventure.

The Outbound Ghost

The Outbound Ghost is a narrative role-play about a ghost on a quest to find out why they died and help others ghosts come to terms with their own post-mortal existence. It's inspired by Paper Mario and Final...

Escape from Ever After

Escape from Ever After (previously called Flynt Buckler Wakes the Sleepy Castle) is an adventure about a cursed storybook and a grim version of classic characters. You are Flynt Buckler and must explore the world, collect items and defeat enemies to...

Paper Animal RPG

Paper Animal RPG is a simple adventure game in a colourful world. You create a band of animal heroes to fight enemies and collect equipment and power-ups.

Paper Cut Mansion

Paper Cut Mansion is a action-adventure where you explore a mysterious mansion floor by floor. You play by poking around each area, solving puzzles and battling enemies to slowly unlock abilities that help you survive.

The Last Tinker: City of Colors

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is an adventure game set in the brightly painted world of Colortown. Play involves traversing the levels by climbing and battling enemies. It brings to mind classic 90s games like Banjo-Bazooie but makes the adventure...


Baladins is a narrative role-play game where you play a troupe of entertainers wandering through the countryside. You visit towns, talk to the locals and complete quests over your a short span of weeks, then start again and have a new adventure. It...

Born of Bread

Born of Bread is a role-playing adventure where you play a Loaf, flour golem and his side-kick exploring a vast baking-oriented world to battle creatures invading from another age. Play is like Paper Mario; a combination of traversing the...

Paper Ghost Stories: Third Eye Open

Paper Ghost Stories: Third Eye Open is a creepy narrative adventure set in early 2000s Malaysia. In its paper-theatre world, you join Ting, a 5-year-old girl trying to come to terms with her supernatural powers. You play in point-and-click fashion,...

Starship Patrol

Starship Patrol (Starship Defense) is a shooting game where you defend your ship from waves of enemy attackers. You have a combination of static guns and defence ships to form an efficient strategy. It's well executed, but most unusual for its hand...

The Plucky Squire

The Plucky Squire is an adventure where two dimensional storybook character, Jot, discovers the three dimensional world. Play involves battling enemies and exploring the world, on the book pages, surfaces of objects in the real world, and out in the...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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