Video games are a whole lot of fun in the moment. They can capture the imagination and make us see the world in new ways. They can also teach us new skills and can be an integral part of a kid’s development. That’s why I’m hoping to get my munchkin into gaming. But not all games are created equal.
Recently, I was sent a press kit for Tearaway Unfolded. It’s a remarkably charming 3D platformer that looks like it is built entirely out of paper craft, like an adventure through your grandmother’s scrapbooking box. It breaks the fourth wall in such an intriguing way; the player is actually referred to as a “you” and the characters in the game talk about needing to deliver the message to the button presser. Plus, there is some truly genius integration with the DualShock 4 controller – items and even animals can be “thrown” into the controller; when you stroke the touchpad, my puppy even made happy noises through the built in speaker. It’s endearing if not perfect as a game; if you want to read more about the core gameplay, you can read my review of the title over on Lazygamer.
However, it’s not just about the game. Tearaway Unfolded has a unique feature that goes beyond what’s experienced on the screen or even in the controller. As you progress through the game, you can sometimes see creatures or environmental features that have lost their color. Using the in-game camera, you can take a picture of them to restore their color. Best of all, these patterns are then made available for download. That’s right, you can take a picture of that silly looking giraffe in the game, and then print out the pattern and make it out of real paper at home.
This is the kind of developmental growth that makes such a difference for a kid. The squirrel is an adorable character – how much fun would it be to play with him in the game, and then create him to play with when the console is turned off. Plus, the paper craft patterns range from easy to difficult, so your kid can increase their skill cutting and pasting, making increasingly complicated creations. I’m sure by the time Harley is old enough to do stuff like this, there will be a new version of the game out (probably even on a new console), but I’m really enamored with this idea and it definitely makes the game more appealing for kids and families.
I will be running a Tearaway Unfolded giveaway soon, so watch this space for a chance to win some cool goodies. If you haven’t already, you might also want to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Facebook and twitter to ensure you don’t miss out.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the game and press kit from local distributors.