Tearaway was an exclusive game for the now rapidly-becoming-defunct PlayStation Vita handheld system. In 2015, the developers, who are also responsible for Little Big Planet, decided to take the game and add a bit to it, bringing it to the PS4 system, to highlight the features of the PS4 controller.
Tearaway is an epic story, told in three parts, about a message/messenger named Atoi(or Iota if you choose to have a male character). The world of Tearaway is made entirely of paper, and when a hole appears in the sky, the inhabitants are able to see out into our world(literally, if you have the Playstation camera). They decide that they must get a message to The You, and send Atoi, an adorable envelope to deliver it. Guided by two playful and at times mischievous characters, The Green Man and The Fortune Teller, Atoi must encounter various obstacles that threaten the colorful world. As The You, you’re able to use every part of the controller to help her along the way. Rubbing a finger along the touchpad can send wind into the world, or flashing the controller’s light can help brighten dark places and fight the Scraps, dangerous pieces of newspaper that want to destroy the world.
Is there a benefit to Teens playing it?
Absolutely! Although Tearaway is primarily a one-player game, it is extremely fun to watch others play, or even to take turns with. At certain parts of the game, Atoi may be asked to roar or sing, and it’s actually the teens who can make the sounds! I don’t care how old you are, the ability to interact with the game this way is really fun. Atoi may also toss things out of the game “into” your controller. A squirrel tossed from the game by Atoi will squeak through the controller’s speaker and rubbing the controller’s touchpad will even tickle it. In one level, I was supposed to visit a butterfly garden, and the game required that I draw the butterflies myself and then send them into the game.
Other players can also get into the fun through the Playstation App. In it, they too can create objects and then “drop” them into the game for the player to use. Adding feathers to four-legged animals, or adding smiles to the supporting characters, is fun to do and see. You can also take the game completely out of the console through printable origami patterns that can be unlocked within it. Should Atoi encounter a character or item in the game that is completely white paper, you can help her bring its color back through your controller. Unlocking the color, unlocks a real paper planning sheet to create the item in real life. Once I’d completed the game at home, I was able to access all of my Papercraft patterns and make them available for teens to try.
Some conversation starters include discussing how the Scraps come from our world and invade the beautiful land within the game. What does this say about how news or other outside influences can ruin or damage beauty and innocence? Sounds deep, but you’d be surprised what teens pick up on.
So in summary:
Tearaway is a beautiful, wildly interactive game, that feels and sounds like paper! There’s even an entire level made of post-it notes!
The storyline is told like a great epic tale, so perfect for combining with a booklist of other epics!
Suggest it for those teens who prefer whimsy and old-fashioned “Mario Brothers-like” platforming over shooters, or to those who love a good puzzle.