My Beautiful Paper Smile – Early Access PC Review

My beautiful paper smile is a hand-drawn indie horror game developed by Two Star Games and published by publishing. Right now, 2 of the 4 chapters are available with approximately 8 – 15 hours of gameplay depending on if you do the side objectives or not. Its an early access title on Steam with chapter 3 set to release late 2020. Be warned the game does have frequent flashing lights. You are urged to close the game immediately if you have any issues.

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I think the first and most important part of a horror game is the style of horror it is. I would put this title in the category of downright creepy. Everything about this game makes your skin crawl, whosever mind this decrepit world came out of must be legally insane. It does have a few jump scares but would describe most of the scare sensation as “Hair raising”. You will need to explore every area thoroughly if you are interested in unlocking all the side content but other then that the game is very linear. You also will encounter some decision-making instances that will affect the path of the story. Combat is very minimal in mechanics and frequency. You will spend most of your time collecting items to unlocks areas and solving puzzles. It is all about the story and the scare after all.

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The story takes place in a hand-drawn universe around a group of younger humanoid-like creatures called the Joyous. You are being held in prison as a lab rat for some twisted evil type experiments by a group called the Authorities. I will not spoil the story but its just downright weirdo status. You can talk to yourself in your sleep, you have to wear a mask so your dark thoughts don’t get out, and you carry an item around with you that if unequip will send you into a plain of dark insanity. I honestly did become attached to the story and I am looking forward to finding out what happens in Chapters 3 & 4.

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My Beautiful Paper Smile was just released into early access on Steam June 19th, so we expected to see some bugs. Surprisingly, we did not experience any in-game glitches which would affect completing side quests or story progression. We did find some minor technical issues which were a bit annoying but not a deal-breaker. There are no screen resolution options, when playing on our ultrawide monitors it would stretch the game and you could not see text in the top of the dialogue bubbles. We had to play in a small windowed mode to read them. Some basic shortcuts are missing like being able to use the escape key out of the options menu and cut scenes. Mostly just quality of life issues which need to be addressed but overall it is well-developed at this stage of its release.

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The environment is everything in horror games, I really like the use of minimal sound in this world. Every noise is ambient and dark from the footsteps to the dialogue bubbles when someone is talking. I think not having actual vocals for dialogue adds to the creepiness levels. It almost feels like the world is breathing and you could die any second.

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I think at the $14.99 price point all 4 chapters should be include but even then, I would still like to see it priced at $9.99. Mostly due to replayability, once you get all the achievements I can’t see anyone coming back to play often. My beautiful Paper Smile is not for the faint of heart the whole situation is sick and twisted. Unless you are totally into the whole internment camp flesh altering demonic mind experiment kind of thing, you’re going to get a scare or two.

Summary
My beautiful paper smiles is a creepy hair-raising style or horror, the kind that makes you look over your shoulder. Its hand-drawn artwork and captivating story will keep you interested all the way through. In Steam's early access there are some minor technical issues which are to be expected but nothing deal-breaking. Due to the lack of replayability I would like to see this title priced at $9.99 however it was a great experience.
Good
  • Jump scares will get you
  • Ambient minimal music and sound effects
  • Hand drawn artwork
  • Scare type "hair raising" experience
Bad
  • No ultrawide support
  • Lacks shortcut keys for options and cutscenes
  • Not enough story line choices
  • Very few jump scares
5.2
Average
Gameplay - 5
Graphics - 7
Audio - 8
Replayability - 2
Controls - 4
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Gaming since Nintendo! Entrepreneur, gamer, wine lover, America! Come join the fun on the GL Discord!

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