Cardboard gets scary in horror roguelike Paper Cut Mansion

Gabriele Caruso, a designer at Liverpool-based indie dev Space Lizard Studio, was in the process of moving into a new house when he hit upon the idea for a horror game. "The emptiness of the new house, and being surrounded by cardboard boxes, made me think that being alone with them was one of the most terrifying things. It was like a maze," he said. And so, Paper Cut Mansion, a "procedurally generated roguelike horror game," was born. 

Paper Cut Mansion plops you in a papercraft prison packed with puzzles and peril. You, a cardboard cutout, are understandably eager to leave the titular mansion, but countless rooms filled with far less endearing cardboard characters stand in your way. Have a gander at the announcement trailer:

Horror, like comedy, doesn't mix with repetition, and repetition is central to most roguelikes, so I'm interested to see how well Paper Cut Mansion holds up in the long run. Perhaps it's less about genuine dread and fear and more about atmosphere and spooky themes. One thing's for sure: I'll probably never get tired of its distinctive artwork, which Space Lizard says was quite literally handcrafted. 

"It was important that the cardboard didn't lose its flawed qualities in the rendering process," the studio said. "It's the blemishes and defects that give Paper Cut Mansion its unique and unsettling atmosphere." So, to keep things as authentic as possible, the artists made real cardboard figures and scanned them in as 3D models. 

Paper Cut Mansion does not yet have a release date. Space Lizard says it's "already deep into production," and plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the game later this year. 

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.