Like any good book or movie, the ending to a videogame is important. You want that sense of satisfaction to justify your hours of time and the monetary investment put into it. Sometimes it’s that final cutscenes to wrap up the amazing story. Other times it’s the come down off of that insanely difficult boss fight. Tearaway makes this moment special in a way no other game has because by the end, I felt like I had helped out a little friend, not just some character I controlled. The ending isn’t the only part of Tearaway that feels like it was imagined around the player, but the entire game is full of these moments to keep you chugging along to the end.
For those of you who don’t know, Tearaway takes place in a world made of construction paper. After a brief tutorial about your gender, skin color and hand size (a nice touch to help emulate every demographic), your little messenger awakens to find you, the smiling face in the sun, looking over him or her (you can select the gender at the beginning) and your story begins. You are a You, a mythical being that will help this little envelope-headed Iota or Aoti (again, depending on the gender you picked) deliver the special message he or she holds to you. It’s such a simple premise, but one that builds over the course of the game.
The game is as much your journey as it is your little messenger. Over the course of the game, both you an Iota/Atoi gain new abilities to help progress through the game world. These powers include the ability to jump for your diminutive partner to being able to interact with the level by ‘pushing’ your finger into their world using the back touch pad. Surprisingly enough, the controls utilize the full potential of the Vita’s tool set, including the accelerometer and the touchpads, without feeling cumbersome or uncomfortable. This is a welcome addition, as the gameplay outside the interactions from ‘You’ is fairly vanillaand doesn’t have anything that you haven’t seen in other 3D platformers.
Media Molecule never lets you feel absent from the game. From constant shots of your face in the sun, to references made about the power of a ‘You’ being needed, every touch you add to the world is seen and felt until you reach the ending credits. Allinteraction with characters within the world is saved, so all the little creative touches you add are on display. For example, early on in the game a squirrel asks you to make him a crown. Once you’ve crafted this crown for his royal highness, he wears your custom made crown every time you see him. Furthermore, if you’re unsatisfied with your work, you can always go back to the point in the level that you crafted and recreate the object with your mad skills. It’s so much fun and the added charmmakes playing through the already adorable levels feel personal.
Iota/Atoi also gains a camera very early in the game. Using this camera, you can take photos of the game world and the real world to use across the various levels. You can even take selfiesof your Messenger. The camera even comes with different lenses and filters, similar to Instagram, that you can purchase with confetti to customize your photos to your hearts content.
Aside from in game use, you can also link up your Facebook and Twitter accounts to show the world your unique messenger or the game world itself.
Aside from journeying around the gorgeous paper craft worlds, there are plenty of collectibles to find, enemies to scrap (when you play the game, you’ll get the pun) and extra stuff to do.There are even blueprints for the paper craft items found within the world. Once obtained, they are uploaded to your Tearaway.me account and can be printed off and created in the real world.
For all of its charm and charisma, Tearaway is still lacking in a few areas. The main story can be beaten in roughly five hours, with another five for trophy clean up. This game is cute and unique, but it isn’t too tough, making it a disappointment foranyone expecting a challenge. Personally, I love the game for that, but some may want to stay clear because of it.
Aside from these minor detractors, Tearaway is a real treat. It’s full of charm and engrossing in ways that most games can’t achieve. It’s also gorgeous, has an amazing soundtrack, and is one of the most unique 3D platformers to release in a while.Truly, if Sony could package this game in with every PS Vita for free, there would be a lot more Vitas in people’s hands. So journey forth and help your messenger make his or her delivery.
9.5 out of 10
Here Are Some Links: