Drawing things on margins of notebook paper. "Don't let it touch the ground!" Punting little paper footballs into a goal. Spinning razor blades of instant death. Ah, the little joys of childhood, rolled up into one fun puzzle platform game from Sandeep Saha, Paper Venture. In a carefree doodle art style, you use a simple block attached to your cursor to guide your lemming-like protagonist around a dangerous or simply tricky area to the goal.
Controls are as simple as it gets: when you click the left mouse button, your little robot guy starts walking. He will walk straight forward until he encounters a wall, in which case he will turn around and walk straight backwards. If he encounters a gap, he will drop through it. If he encounters the edge of the screen, he will walk right off of it. And if he encounters a spinning blade of death, he will suffer from sudden existence failure. Luckily, you, oh player, are there with your trusty block, permanently attached to your cursor. You can manipulate the robot character with it by lifting him, catching him, and nudging him towards the goal and away from dangers. As with any platform mouse game, use of an actual mouse rather than a trackpad is recommended, especially in the later levels.
Paper Venture has great level design and a satisfying level of challenge. Its only drawbacks are peripheral. The biggest design flaw was the location of the sponsor logo in the lower left corner. There are several levels where clicking to start the level seems most natural right on the sponsor logo... which of course causes the sponsor website to load in another window. It is possible with careful positioning to click without hitting the logo, but this is a needless hassle. The game also could have been improved with a level select screen to allow the player to replay a favorite level. As it is, your choice is either to replay level 30 over and over, or to wipe your save and start from the beginning.
These two flaws are definitely something that should be improved in any sequel, but as it is, the game is still a delightful little puzzle platforming diversion with a whimsical mood.